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Braves Clinch Playoff Berth, Beat Bucs 5-2

The Atlanta Braves became the first team in Major League Baseball to clinch a playoff berth, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates by a 5-2 score at Truist Park on Sunday.

Luis Ortiz started for Pittsburgh, giving up one run on three hits in 5.1 innings.  Colin Shelby took the loss, giving up four runs on three hits while only tallying one out.  Allan Winans gave up two runs on six hits in 6.1 innings for Atlanta, while Brad Hand earned the victory.

This game was a pitchers’ duel until the sixth inning, when Bryan Reynolds broke the scoreless tie with a RBI double to right field.  Ji Hwan Bae scored and the Pirates led 1-0.  Jack Suwinski’s double scored Reynolds later in the inning, increasing the lead to 2-0.  Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, they would not score again.

Matt Olson’s groundout scored a run in the bottom of the sixth, cutting the lead in half at 2-1.  The Braves won the game with three runs in the bottom of the seventh.  Ronald Acuna Jr’s two-run single gave the Braves a 3-2 lead, and Olson’s two-run single stretched the lead to 5-2, which would be the final score.

This was a disappointing way to close this series.  The Pirates had an opportunity to win this game, and thus the series, but couldn’t hold on in the late innings.  Atlanta is the best team in the league for a reason, and you have to be able to play a full nine innings of baseball to beat them. 

The Pirates will return home to PNC Park to kick off a home stand against the Washington Nationals, beginning Monday evening. Pittsburgh has yet to name a starter, while the Nationals will send Patrick Corbin to the bump.

Record vs. Braves: 3-4

Record vs. N.L. East: 11-12

Record on the Road: 32-40

Overall Record: 66-77


As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor