Braves rally in Atlanta, take extra-inning game from Pittsburgh Pirates


The Atlanta Braves rallied with a run in the bottom of the 10th to claim a 5-4 comeback victory from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night at Turner Field. Pittsburgh (35-24) has now dropped four out of its last five games.

The National League East leaders pulled it out in the home half of the 10th against Pirates righthander Mark Melancon. Second baseman Dan Uggla walked and moved to second base when pinch-hitter Reed Johnson was hit by a pitch.

May 26, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Mark Melancon during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who had three hits and a walk, then doubled to right- center to score Uggla and take the 5-4 victory. The game-winning run was just the fourth earned run given up by Melancon this season.

The Pirates entered the bottom of the sixth with a 4-2 lead, but the Braves struck quickly to tie it up. With two out, Dan Uggla singled to left field, chasing starter Jeff Locke. Recent rookie call-up Ryan Reid got the ball against B.J. Upton, who slugged a two-run home run to center field to make it 4-4.

Atlanta lefty starter Mike Minor allowed four hits and four runs, two earned, in six innings. It was the Altanta bullpen who shut down the Pirates for the rest of the night. Lefthander Luis Avilan and righthanders Jordan Walden, Craig Kimbrel and Anthony Varvaro combined to allow one hit in four scoreless innings. Varvaro improved his record to 3-0 with a perfect 10th.

Locke surrendered six hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innings. The lefthander matched his season high with seven strikeouts.

First baseman Gaby Sanchez got the Bucs on the scoreboard with his fifth home run of the season leading off the top of the second.

The Bucs added to their lead in the top of the third, triggered by Jordy Mercer’s double to left field, moving Locke to third base. With two out, Andrew McCutchen doubled into the left-field corner which allowed Locke and Mercer to score and extend the Pirates lead to 3-0.

In the bottom of the third, the Braves answered back as Andrelton Simmons drew a walk and moved to second on Jason Heyward’s single to right. With two out, first baseman Freddie Freeman doubled to left, scoring both Simmons and Heyward.

With two out in the bottom of the fourth, Bucs third baseman Pedro Alvarez hit a solo home run over the left-field wall. Alvarez’s 12th home run of the year gave Pittsburgh a 4-2 lead.

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle gave usual-catcher Russell Martin his first career start in right field on Tuesday night. Martin has also appeared in three games at third base this season.

The final game of the three-game series is set for 12:10 p.m. Wednesday. The Braves (36-22) will send righthander Julio Teheran (3-2, 3.71 ERA) to the hill, while Pittsburgh will counter with lefthander Wandy Rodriguez (6-3, 3.47 ERA). The contest will be broadcast on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

From The Clipboard: Andrew McCutchen ranks seventh among National League outfielders in the first round of All-Star Game fan voting results released on Tuesday. McCutchen has 576,201 votes…Tuesday also marked the four-year anniversary of Andrew McCutchen’s first MLB game. He made his debut against the Mets at PNC Park on June 4, 2009…Starling Marte is the team leader with 20 multi-hit games and the Bucs have gone 13-7 in those games…Lefthander Justin Wilson has won each of his first five decisions this season and leads all MLB relief pitchers in wins.