Braves Sweep Pirates In Extra Innings

by Zane Heiple
Photo by AP
The Pittsburgh Pirates wrapped up a short two game series with the Atlanta Braves this afternoon.  James McDonald was given the start for the Buccos, while the Braves countered with Mike Minor. 
Atlanta jumped on the board in the first inning, when Chipper Jones singled to bring home Jordan Schafer.  The advantage could have been more if it wasn’t for an Eric Hinske double play to end the inning.  McDonald would only allow one other run during the six innings he pitched today.  The Braves took a 2-1 lead, when Hinske homered in the sixth.  James finished the day allowing six hits, striking out six and walking only one batter. 
Unlike the past two games Pittsburgh was able to provide some offense today.  In the third inning, Steve Pearce would bring home Jose Tabata after he singled and stole second base.  They would then tie the game in the seventh when Pearce hit his first home run of the year.  Steve then had a chance to be the game hero in the bottom of the ninth.  With the game tied, there was one out and the bases loaded, Pearce unfortunately would hit a grounder to Jones at third to end the inning on a 5-2-3 double play.
Extra innings would see the Pittsburgh offense go back into a shell as they would go 1-2-3 in both the tenth and eleventh innings.  The Braves however, struck in the top of the eleventh, when Brooks Conrad hit his first home run of the year, a two run shot, to lead Atlanta to a 4-2 victory.
Jeff Karstens was tagged with the loss and was available today, since his next start was pushed back to Sunday because of the day off tomorrow.  The Pirates once again were unable to take advantage of playing at home for the past five games.  Things looked good in the beginning when they took the first two from the Tigers, but three straight losses have us Pirates fans hoping they are able to use that road magic to improve their overall record.
With a travel day tomorrow, the Pirates will resume playing on Friday when they being a three game series with the Chicago Cubs.  First pitch will be at 2:20pm.
Record vs. Braves:  0-2
Record vs. N.L. East 2-7
Record at PNC Park:  9-14
Overall Record:  22-26
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!!!

Zane Heiple

Zane is Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands and a weekly contributor for Armchair Report on NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA related topics. He's also the smartest man in the world. Just ask him.

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