Pirates score nine runs in final two innings, stun Braves
By Charles Odum
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Gift Ngoepe doubled to drive in Andrew McCutchen for the go-ahead run before the Pittsburgh Pirates hit three straight homers during a seven-run 10th inning to beat the Atlanta Braves 12-5 on Wednesday night.
Pittsburgh’s Jose Osuna hit a bases-loaded, two-run single off Jose Ramirez in the ninth to tie it at 5.
After Ngoepe’s double, the Pirates put the game away with Josh Harrison’s two-run single, followed by homers from David Freese, Osuna and Jordy Mercer — all off Josh Collmenter (0-2). Freese’s homer was a two-run shot.
McCutchen snapped a 0-for-15 slump with a pinch-hit single to lead off the 10th.
The last time the Pirates hit three straight homers was Sept. 13, 2013, against the Cubs. Adam Frazier hit a three-run homer in the second.
The Braves rested overworked closer Jim Johnson and setup man Arodys Vizcaino, leaving Ramirez and Collmenter to pitch late with the game on the line.
With two on and no outs in the ninth, Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte protected the lead with his leaping catch of Harrison’s fly ball at the wall. Ramirez struck out Josh Bell before walking Freese, and then Ngoepe and Frazier scored on Osuna’s single to left.
Felipe Rivero (2-1) pitched a scoreless ninth.
The Braves took the lead with four runs in the sixth and added a run in the eighth for a 5-3 lead. Jace Peterson hit a two-run double in the four-run sixth, and Matt Kemp’s run-scoring single, the Braves’ third straight hit in the sixth, knocked starter Trevor Williams out of the game. Rio Ruiz also drove in a run with a single off Juan Nicasio before Peterson’s double.
A fan was ejected after leaning over the wall down the right-field line to scoop up Ruiz’s double in the eighth. Ruiz scored on pinch hitter Danny Santana’s ground-rule double that bounced over the left-field wall. Santana ended an 0-for-18 skid with the hit.
Julio Teheran allowed no earned runs in six innings. Teheran entered the game with a 10.50 ERA in five home starts, compared to a 0.71 ERA in four road starts. He gave up Frazier’s homer, but the runs were unearned.
Pirates: OF Gregory Polanco (strained left hamstring) ran the bases with no apparent problem before the game. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday.
Braves: 3B Adonis Garcia (left Achilles tendinitis) will report to Triple-A Gwinnett for a rehab assignment this weekend.
Manager Brian Snitker says the team wants Garcia to test the injury in three games “to make sure he’s good when we get him back.”
Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (4-3) has not allowed an earned run over 13 innings in two career starts against the Braves. His only decision against Atlanta came in a 5-4 win in the Pirates’ home opener on April 7.
Braves: RHP Bartolo Colon (2-4) will start one day after celebrating his 44th birthday. Colon is 5-2 with a 1.94 ERA in nine career starts against Pittsburgh. Colon has struggled this season and will take a 6.38 ERA into the game.
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