It has been a rough week for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and just when it looked like things might be turning around the Atlanta Braves put up eight runs in the seventh inning to earn a 10-4 victory. Four runs in a game are the most that Pittsburgh has scored since plating six runs in a loss on June 3rd against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Solo home runs by Bryan Reynolds and Daniel Vogelbach put the Pirates ahead by two runs in the top of the first. Atlanta quickly answered with solo dingers of their own by Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley in the bottom half of the inning. The game remained tied until the fifth when Reynolds connected on an RBI double and then came around to score when Ke’Bryan Hayes doubled to left center.
The starting pitching was good for both teams. Zach Thompson pitched five innings for Pittsburgh, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts and one walk. Former Bucco Charlie Morton started for the Braves and allowed four runs on five hits, to go with twelve strikeouts and one walk over six innings. Neither pitcher would earn a decision in this game, as Atlanta put their big inning together against the Pirates bullpen in the seventh.
Michael Harris II hit an RBI single to right center to pull his team within one run. Dansby Swanson cleared the bases with a bloop single to shallow right field. Ozzie Albies cleared the bases again later in the inning when he blasted a 400 ft. grand slam to right center field. Three of these runs were charged to Duane Underwood Jr., while the other five would go against Chris Stratton. Yerry De Los Santos collected the final two outs of the seventh, while David Bednar pitched the ninth striking out one batter.
This was a tough pill to swallow with the offense finally showing some signs of life and Thompson has continued to string together good starts. Unfortunately, the bullpen let them down today with one terrible inning. Pittsburgh will now look to avoid being swept for a second consecutive series tomorrow after when they play the Braves at 1:35pm.
Record vs. Braves: 0-3
Record vs. N.L. East: 3-4
Record on the Road: 11-16
Overall Record: 24-33
Let’s Go Bucs!