The defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves visited PNC Park to begin a three-game series on Monday night. Atlanta swept a four-game series with Pittsburgh back in June, and looked to continue that success as they are trying to win a division title. That domination of the Pirates continued as they took the series opener by the final of 2-1.
This low scoring game was obviously a battle between starting pitching and the bullpen. Roansy Contreras made the start for Pittsburgh and was solid over seven innings. He would allow two runs on four hits, while walking three and striking out five. Those two runs came in the fifth inning when Michael Harris II hit a two-run home run to left center.
Jake Ordorizzi took the bump for the Braves and pitched six innings. Ordorizzi gave up one run on four hits with seven strikeouts. Oneil Cruz got the best of him in the fifth when he launched a 350ft. solo home run to right field. That was it for the scoring on the night, as both bullpens shut the door on the opposing offense.
Duane Underwood Jr. pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Wil Crowe did the same in the ninth, while striking out a batter. Neither pitcher gave up a hit or walk. Atlanta used three out of their pen. A.J. Minter allowed one hit and struck out a batter during the seventh. Raisel Iglesias walked one batter in the eighth, before giving away to Kenley Jansen in the ninth. Jansen struck out two to pick up his 29th save of the season.
Surprisingly, the Pirates outhit the Braves 5-4 on the night, but couldn’t get it done in the runs column. Pittsburgh will once again look to get their first win of the season over Atlanta on Tuesday night at 7:05pm. Slated to start is JT Brubaker for the Pirates, while the Braves will counter with Max Fried.
Record vs. Braves: 0-5
Record vs. N.L. East: 7-16
Record at Home: 26-34
Overall Record: 47-75
Let’s Go Bucs!