Morton left the game in the bottom of the third inning after throwing 44 pitches in Houston. The Braves were leading 5-0 when Morton struck out Astros leadoff hitter Jose Altuve with a curve. On his delivery, Morton almost went to the ground and came up with a limp.
Despite the setback, the Braves went on to win the game 6-2. AJ Minter, who replaced Morton, held the Astros to three hits and one run over 2 and 2/3 innings in a strong bullpen performance.
Braves Manager Brian Snitker explained after the game that Morton had his leg X-rayed between innings after he was hit.
“He wanted to keep going because he was down in the tunnel and he was throwing against the wall,”Snitker explained, saying the pitcher said it hurt when he ran, but felt good when he was throwing. “Then obviously, it didn’t,”Snitker added.
Morton threw 16 pitches after the blow and got three more outs before he was forced to leave. A second X-ray revealed the fracture.
“He’s such a great person, great person and teammate,” Snitker said. “I do, I really hate it for him because I know he’s really looking forward to this run with us.”
The fibula is a bone in the lower leg on the outside of the tibia.
Earlier, history was made as Atlanta outfielder Jorge Soler became the first player to hit a home run in the first plate appearance. Soler was the designated hitter and he crushed the third pitch from Houston starter Framber Valdez.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday in Houston’s Minute Maid Park.