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Pittsburgh at Atlanta

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Pittsburgh (40-49)000000001181
Atlanta (48-42) «30000600x9110

Braves break out bats against Pirates as McCann blasts two HRs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Brian McCann hit two homers for only the second time in his career, drove in four runs for the second straight game and then, like a good catcher, bragged about his pitcher.

"Huddy was unbelievable tonight; he's been like that all season," McCann said after Tim Hudson threw seven shutout innings in the Atlanta Braves' 9-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.

Andruw Jones and McCann hit back-to-back homers to start a six-run sixth inning that put the game out of reach after McCann hit a three-run shot in the first inning.

The Braves, who have won 10 of 14, pulled to within 1½ games of the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.

McCann, coming off his second All-Star appearance, was 3-for-4.

Hudson (9-5) gave up five hits and walked one batter. He had four strikeouts and is 3-0 in his last four starts.

"He obviously was on top of his game," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said of Hudson. "He pitched very, very well."

Said Hudson: "It's what we needed to start off the second half."

The Braves had seven hits in the big inning, knocking Pirates starter Ian Snell out of the game. Snell (7-6) gave up eight hits and seven runs -- four earned -- in five innings. He was charged with four runs in the sixth after allowing three unearned runs in the first. His ERA climbed from 2.93, fifth in the NL, to 3.11.

The Braves, next to last in the NL with a .248 home batting average at the All-Star break, started the second half with 11 hits.

Hudson hit a bases-loaded single and Edgar Renteria added a two-run single as the Braves sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth. Chipper Jones and Matt Diaz also drove in runs in the inning.

Snell said Hudson's strong game didn't give him a chance to rest between innings.

"I was getting tired," Snell said. "Everytime we came out to hit, it was like two seconds. As soon as we sat down, it was time to go back out."

Adam LaRoche, making his first return to Atlanta after he was traded to the Pirates on Jan. 19, committed a fielding error on a strange first-inning play that set the stage for three unearned runs.

With two outs, Chipper Jones hit a sharp grounder to LaRoche, who dropped the ball as he began to run to first base. LaRoche looked back and continued to move toward first as he saw second baseman Freddy Sanchez pick up the ball.

With both LaRoche and Snell running to cover first, Sanchez flipped the ball toward the bag, but the throw hit LaRoche on his back as Jones was safe on the play. LaRoche earned the error for the fielding miscue.

"I thought it was in my pocket," said LaRoche. "I thought it hit the web. I thought I had it, but it popped out."

Snell then walked Andruw Jones, and McCann followed with the three-run homer to right for a 3-0 lead.

"It was horrible," said Snell of the first inning.

Added Tracy: "The first inning kind of set the tone for the game."

McCann, who homered and drove in four runs against San Diego in the last game before the All-Star break, has four homers and 12 RBI in his last six games.

McCann said he has "no idea" how to explain his hot streak.

"That's why no one can perfect this game," he said. "One day you feel terrible at the plate and not see one pitch, the next day you see the ball really, really good."

Andruw Jones, who hit only seven homers in a combined 54 games in May and June, has four homers in nine games in July.

"Andruw is going to carry us in the second half," McCann said.

Notes

Andruw Jones left in the sixth inning because of a right quad injury but said he expects to play Saturday. ... Snell had his shortest outing since lasting five innings in a 7-1 loss to the Cubs on May 2. ... McCann's only other career two-homer game came on Sept. 24, 2006, against Colorado. ... The Braves hit back-to-back homers for the third time this season. ... Hudson will celebrate his 32nd birthday on Saturday.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Atlanta

B. McCann
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 2
RBI 4
Atlanta

T. Hudson
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 1
K 4
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nate McLouth, CF4010001 .241
Freddy Sanchez, 2B3000002 .294
    Matt Kata, 2B1000000 .178
Adam LaRoche, 1B3010000 .240
    Tony Armas, P0000000 .286
   a- Jose Castillo, PH1000010 .240
Jason Bay, LF4110011 .254
Xavier Nady, RF4010001 .291
Jose Bautista, 3B3010110 .258
Ronny Paulino, C4011011 .234
Jack Wilson, SS4020014 .262
Ian Snell, P1000011 .100
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
    Josh Phelps, 1B1000000 .272
Totals3318116  
a-struck out for Armas in the 9th
Batting
2B - Xavier Nady (16, Hudson), Ronny Paulino (14, Ascanio)
SH - Ian Snell (10)
RBI - Ronny Paulino (25)
2-OUT RBI - Ronny Paulino (9)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - J. Wilson-F. Sanchez-LaRoche
E - Adam LaRoche (4, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ian Snell (L,7-6) 5874243 3.11
John Grabow 0.1322110 6.04
Tony Armas 2.2000120 8.12
IBB - Thorman by Ian Snell
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 94-61, John Grabow 14-9, Tony Armas 33-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 8-3, Tony Armas 1-5
Batters Faced - Ian Snell 25, John Grabow 5, Tony Armas 9
Atlanta Braves
Willie Harris, LF-CF5010013 .338
Edgar Renteria, SS4012011 .319
    Yunel Escobar, SS1000000 .301
Chipper Jones, 3B4120000 .332
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
   a- Chuck James, PH1000010 .207
    Jose Ascanio, P0000000 .000
Andruw Jones, CF2211101 .213
   b- Matt Diaz, PH-LF0001000 .353
Brian McCann, C4234002 .269
Jeff Francoeur, RF4110011 .288
Kelly Johnson, 2B3110111 .287
Scott Thorman, 1B2100221 .215
Tim Hudson, P3111002 .200
   c- Chris Woodward, PH-3B1000001 .216
Totals34911947  
a-struck out for Moylan in the 8th
b-hit a sacrifice fly for A. Jones in the 6th
c-popped out for Hudson in the 7th
Batting
2B - Chipper Jones (18, Snell), Brian McCann (20, Snell)
HR - Andruw Jones (16, Snell), Brian McCann 2 (11, Snell, Snell)
SF - Matt Diaz (5)
RBI - Edgar Renteria 2 (47), Andruw Jones (55), Matt Diaz (20), Brian McCann 4 (53), Tim Hudson (3)
2-OUT RBI - Brian McCann 3 (19)
SB - Chipper Jones (4, 2nd base off Snell/Paulino)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Thorman-Renteria-Hudson
Atlanta Braves
Tim Hudson (W,9-5) 7500140 3.35
Peter Moylan 1000000 2.08
Jose Ascanio 1311020 9.00
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 89-55, Peter Moylan 11-8, Jose Ascanio 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 12-4, Peter Moylan 1-2
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 26, Peter Moylan 3, Jose Ascanio 6
Game Information
Attendance - 38922
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Field Culbreth, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Marty Foster