Published November 20, 2014
Dan Uggla and Chipper Jones each knocked in a pair of runs as the Atlanta Braves downed the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-1, in the opener of a four-game series at Turner Field.
Martin Prado and Tyler Pastornicky added an RBI apiece for the Braves, who earned their third straight victory.
Tommy Hanson (3-2) allowed one run on six hits and three walks to earn the win. Kris Medlen tossed three shutout innings to earn his first career save.
Braves catcher Brian McCann was replaced by David Ross in the sixth inning after McCann suffered a right intercostal strain in the fifth inning while throwing out Alex Presley on a steal attempt.
A.J. Burnett (1-1) gave up two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out eight in Pittsburgh's fourth loss in seven games.
"No matter what you're going to give hits up. You're going to make good pitches and give up hits and you just have to stick with it," Burnett said. "You're always one pitch away from getting out of a jam."
The Braves recorded the first run of the game when Pastornicky led off the bottom of the third with a walk, moved to second on Hanson's sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a Michael Bourn groundout before coming home on Prado's base hit to right.
But Pittsburgh got that run back in the fourth inning after Andrew McCutchen singled, stole second and crossed the plate on Garrett Jones' single to right.
The Pirates later loaded the bases with one out on back-to-back walks by Pedro Alvarez and Casey McGehee, but Rod Barajas followed with a grounder to third for an inning-ending double play to keep it a 1-1 game.
"I didn't have my best command but, you know, I battled and made pitches when I had to," said Hanson.
Atlanta then regained its lead in the home fourth when Jason Heyward walked and stole second before Pastornicky singled him in.
The Braves maintained their one-run lead until Tony Watson took the mound in relief of Burnett to start the seventh.
After Bourn flied out to center, Prado singled to left and Freddie Freeman and Ross were both issued walks to load the bases. Evan Meek then took the bump and was greeted by Uggla's double into center field that McCutchen bobbled to allow Prado and Freeman to cross the plate.
Chipper Jones followed with a two-run single to left to give Atlanta a 6-1 lead.
Medlen shut the door from there, allowing just a two-out walk by Alvarez in the ninth before inducing a McGehee grounder back to the mound to end the game.
It was the first time this season the Pirates either scored or allowed more than five runs in a game, breaking an MLB-record 18-game streak...Presley had two hits to extend his career-best hit streak to 11 games...Burnett fell to 5-10 in 19 games (18 starts) against Atlanta...Hanson improved to 1-1 in three career starts against Pittsburgh.