The Braves manufactured a run in a most annoying way. Andrelton Simmons singled with an out, stole second an out later when The Kid missed the tag and Simmons came home on Harang's single. Frankie was up on him 0-2, missed with three straight pitches and gave Harang a fastball down the middle that he slapped into center. Pittsburgh went down on order.
Phil Gosselin opened the third with a knock and Freeman singled him to second. They both trotted home after Justin Upton lined a high floating change over the left field wall. He got the next three Bravos, but the opponents have cashed in on another big inning against the Bucs. Jordy got the Bucs' first hit with one gone, roping a fastball into center. Frankie moved him to second, where he stayed after Josh's bounce out.
BJ Upton doubled to start the fourth and was bunted to third, where he scored on Heyward's single. Frankie kept everything away from Freeman an out later and lost him; the lefty has been on base all three times he's stepped to the plate tonight. Liriano finally got J Upton to ground out with the score 5-0 Braves.
Travis led off the Buc half with a double to right center. Cutch cracked one that Heyward ran down at the track in right, with Snider tagging to third. He came in on Walker's roller to third to make it 5-1.
Now it's Cliff Notes time - an error, a single off a glove, a walk and another single, another walk and yet another single sent Frankie to the showers, with Brandon Cumpton coming on. A whiff, a single, a whiff, a walk and two more singles, the last a broken bat knock, made it 10-1 before the third out was recorded. Starling opened with a single, went to second, and scored when Cumpton singled off Simmons' glove to make it 10-2.
There was no action for either team in the sixth. The only surprise to us is that Cutch, Jordy and The Kid, all a little gimpy, took the field again for the seventh instead of being given a little blow. The Bravos went down in the seventh; the Bucs wasted a leadoff knock by Russ. Cumpton has a streak of 10 Braves put away in a row after a 1-2-3 eighth. The Bucs had runners on the corners with an out, but Cutch banged into a 6-4-3 DP to close the curtain on the frame. After that, Andrew was given the last inning off.
Brandon's streak came an abrupt halt when Gattis homered to lead of the ninth, crushing a pitch into the second tier in left. That was followed by a double, but Cumpton eased out of it. With an out, Russ, Starling and Ike strung together hits to make it 11-3. That spoiled Harang's shot at a complete game as David Hale took the bump. A couple of routine outs later, the game was in the books.
No deep thoughts needed; if the Pirate pitchers don't start pitching, it's going to be Steeler season in a hurry.
Gerrit Cole (7-4, 3.78) gets back on the bike against lefty Alex Wood (9-9, 3.07) tomorrow tonight.
- With his fourth inning double, Travis Snider now has a 10 game hitting streak.
- The Braves sent ten players to the plate tonight; all but Chris Johnson had a hit.
- Jordy Mercer is playing tonight, but said before the game that he won't be 100%. Since his forearm problem isn't structural, Jordy will try to play through the pain.
- The Pirate spiral has now reached seven games.
- There were 20,033 in the ballyard tonight. The good news for then was that the game only lasted 2:50.