Pirates' pitchers face the minimum 27 batters in win over Braves

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Wandy Rodriguez threw seven shutout innings against the Braves. (USATSI)

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Coming into Friday, the Braves led all of baseball in home runs (29) and were hitting a stout .257/.332/.473 as a team. They also had baseball's best record at 13-2. That's why what the Pirates did in the second game of the series was so impressive.

Left-handed starter Wandy Rodriguez and righty relievers Mark Melancon and Vin Mazzaro combined to allow just two singles in nine innings, and because both runners were erased on ground-ball double plays, they faced the minimum 27 batters in the win. Pittsburgh's hurlers threw a grand total of two (!) pitches with men on base.

The last time a team faced the minimum 27 batters in a nine-inning, non-perfect game/no-hitter was back in September 2008, and it involved these same Pirates. Astros ace Roy Oswalt allowed three singles in the complete-game win over the Bucs, and all three runners were erased on ground-ball double plays by the very next batter. He threw nine pitches with men on base in that game.

Another oddity: the Braves remain undefeated when they score a run this year. They have baseball's best record at 13-3 and all three losses were shutouts. The Phillies, Royals, and now Pirates have done the honors.

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