Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Gaby Sanchez's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth helped the Pittsburgh Pirates snap a seven-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.
Jordy Mercer opened the ninth with a single off David Carpenter (4-3). Following a pop out by Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte reached on a fielding error by left fielder Justin Upton that put runners at second and third.
Sanchez wasted no time getting Pittsburgh back in the win column, sending a high drive out to center on the first pitch he saw that easily scored Mercer from third.
Mark Melancon (2-3) picked up the win for tossing a scoreless ninth inning.
Pittsburgh welcomed back starter Gerrit Cole to the rotation after the right- hander missed nearly two months with right lat soreness. Cole worked seven innings in the no-decision, allowing two runs on five hits with six strikeouts in his first action since July 4.
"I thought he pitched pretty well this evening," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Cole. "He had four pitches to go to, very efficient work. Really good to see him out on the mound."
Upton's single in the first plated Jason Heyward, who began the inning with a walk, to give the Braves an early lead.
With the bases loaded and one out in the sixth, Chris Johnson singled home Heyward, but Freddie Freeman was gunned down at the plate before Evan Gattis struck out to end the inning.
Atlanta starter Alex Wood held the Pirates scoreless through seven innings, however, the hosts got something going off the left-hander in the eighth.
Sanchez started the inning with a walk and Travis Snider chased Wood with a ground-rule double to right. Wood was charged with two runs on four hits in seven-plus innings.
Jordan Walden relieved Wood and got Stewart to ground out which allowed Sanchez to cross. Walden then unleashed a wild pitch that pushed Snider across to tie the game.
"You hate to lose a game like this because you had a lot of positive stuff," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.
Melancon capped a string of eight straight batters retired by the Pittsburgh bullpen with a perfect ninth inning to help snap Atlanta's five-game winning streak.
Andrew McCutchen, who went 0-for-4 in his return from missing two weeks with a fractured rib on Tuesday, went 0-for-4 on Wednesday ... Each team had five hits ... Atlanta continues its 10-game road trip with a four-game set against Cincinnati on Thursday ... Wood had a two-start winning streak snapped in the setback ... Snider was the only player in the game with multiple hits ... Atlanta went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position, while the Bucs went 0- for-1 in those instances.