Barmes leads Pirates to third straight win
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Clint Barmes had a pair of RBI singles, and the Pittsburgh Pirates notched their third straight win with a 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves in the finale of a four-game set at PNC Park.
Russell Martin went 2-for-4 with an RBI double, Travis Snider added two hits and scored an insurance run for Pittsburgh, which has gone 9-3 since a four- game losing streak in the first week of the season.
"We settled into our rhythm, our pitchers pitched better than their pitchers and our hitters actually outperformed," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle. "It's good to beat good teams."
Justin Wilson (1-0) picked up the win with 1 1/3 scoreless frames. Pirates starter Jonathan Sanchez was removed after throwing 74 pitches in three innings of work. He allowed two runs on four hits with three walks.
The Braves have dropped four of their last five since winning 10 in a row. Gerald Laird and Andrelton Simmons each had two hits and an RBI.
Atlanta starter Kris Medlen (1-2) struck out six over six innings of work and was charged for three runs on seven hits and a walk in defeat.
The Braves jumped on Sanchez in the second with four straight singles off the lefty, including RBI base hits from Laird and Simmons, but managed just four more hits over the last seven innings and were just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position for the game.
"The story is we didn't swing the bats," said Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez. "We had some opportunities."
Martin and Barmes brought the Pirates even in the bottom half of the second. After leading the inning off with a single, Pedro Alvarez scored on Martin's double into center. Barmes then plated Martin with his 800th career hit, a line-drive single through the right side.
In the sixth, Atlanta's left fielder Justin Upton made a great leaping catch, but Pittsburgh wound up grabbing the lead later in the frame.
Neil Walker, who led the inning off with a single, tagged on Alvarez's deep fly ball into left and then moved to third on Martin's groundout. Barmes hit a slow roller up the middle and beat Simmons' throw at first base to score Walker and put the Pirates on top, 3-2.
Pittsburgh nearly botched an opportunity to score in the seventh when Sterling Marte got caught in a run down between third and home, but were able to load the bases later in the frame and pushed a run across on Atlanta reliever Luis Avilan's wild pitch, bringing Snider home from third.
Tony Watson pitched a perfect eighth for Pittsburgh, and after walking the leadoff man in the ninth, Jason Grilli notched his seventh save by setting down B.J. Upton, Ramiro Pena and Justin Upton in order.
The Braves lost their first series of the season ... Atlanta relievers had a 13-innings scoreless streak snapped ... The Pirates improved to 9-0 when leading after seven innings ... Atlanta's Chris Johnson went 1-for-4, snapping a seven-game multi-hit streak.
04/21 20:14:26 ET