Atlanta at Pittsburgh

W: J. Grabow (2-1) L: J. Bennett (0-2)
HR: ATL - None   PIT - None

Pirates 3, Braves 2 wire reports

PITTSBURGH -- Freddy Sanchez insists he doesn't care where he hits in the Pittsburgh lineup.

The way the Pirates are rolling, he could be hitting leadoff for a while.

Sanchez singled home Brian Bixler with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Pirates a 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

Atlanta dropped to 1-10 in one-run games the day after it beat San Diego 5-4 for its first victory of the season in those contests. The Braves were only team in the major leagues without a one-run victory.

Sanchez went 2-for-4 with three RBI and is 9-for-17 in four games since he moved from No. 2 to the leadoff spot. The Pirates have won all four games.

"I don't think it has anything to do with it," Sanchez said. "To me, it doesn't matter where I hit. After my first at-bat, it's not really a factor anymore. After first my at-bat, I tend to forget I'm hitting leadoff."

With one out in the ninth, Jose Bautista singled off Atlanta reliever Jeff Bennett (0-2). Bixler hit into a forceout at second, and Doug Mientkiewicz singled to put runners at first and third.

Mientkiewicz took second on fielder's indifference before Sanchez singled up the middle to give the Pirates the victory.

"That's a case where I didn't hit the ball hard," Sanchez said. "It just found a hole."

The second basemen's batting average has improved from .222 to .261 over the past four games. Pirates manager John Russell said it was only a matter of time before Sanchez, who won the 2006 National League batting title, would break out of his slump.

"The change of scenery might have made him more energetic," Russell said. "But he might have done the same thing in the No. 2 hole. We all know Freddy can hit."

John Grabow (2-1) pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win. Grabow came in after Tyler Yates allowed the first two runners to reach base. After striking out Kelly Johnson, Grabow got Yunel Escobar to bounce into a double play.

"Obviously, you never want to come into a situation like that," said Grabow, who has a 1.02 ERA. "But that's our job out in the bullpen to pick each other up."

Brian McCann went 3-for-3 and Jeff Francoeur drove in two runs for Atlanta, which had won six straight.

Sanchez hit a two-out, two-run double off Tom Glavine in the seventh to put Pittsburgh in front 2-1. Bixler was thrown out at home on the play.

Francoeur tied it with a two-out RBI single in the eighth.

Atlanta slugger Chipper Jones, the major league's leading hitter with a .413 average, went 0-for-2 with two walks. Jones was held without a hit for the fourth time in 32 games this season.

Glavine allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings. He walked four and struck out three. The left-hander is winless in six starts this season. In four of those starts, he's pitched at least five innings and allowed two runs or fewer.

"He can't pitch any better," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "How do you pitch any better?"

Glavine, who has 303 career victories, said the outcomes have been frustrating.

"There's nothing else I can do," Glavine said. "I want to win and be a part of what's going on around here. The flipside is, I'm happy with the way I'm throwing the ball. I'm giving us a chance to win, it's just hasn't happened for me. If I keep throwing the ball the way I'm throwing it, I'll win my share of games."

Ian Snell went seven innings for the Pirates, allowing one run and two hits. He struck out five but also walked six batters.

"Ian missed away to the lefties, which costs him walks and increased his pitch count," Russell said. "But he made the pitches when he had to. He matched pitches when he needed to with Glavine, who was obviously on his game."

Snell, who hasn't won since beating Cincinnati on April 12, was coming off one of his worst outings of the season, allowing four runs and 10 hits in six innings in a loss at Washington on Sunday.

"Tonight was an improvement. I'm just taking it step by step," he said. "It wasn't my best start by far. I tried to let the defense play instead of trying to strike everybody out. I didn't realize I had that many walks. It happens, and they obviously didn't hurt me."

Snell, a career .060 hitter entering Friday night, also had a double in the sixth, his first hit of the season.


Glavine moved past Bob Feller and Warren Spahn and into 24th place on the career strikeout list. Glavine now has 2,584 Ks. ... Pirates reliever Damaso Marte had retired 22 straight batters before allowing a single to Mark Teixeira in the eighth. ... The Pirates had their first blown save of the season.

Copyright 2017 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

F. Sanchez
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

B. McCann
AB 3
R 0
H 3
HR 0

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Atlanta Braves
Kelly Johnson, 2B3000232 .257
Yunel Escobar, SS5000013 .320
Chipper Jones, 3B2100200 .413
Mark Teixeira, 1B3110101 .256
Brian McCann, C3030100 .317
    Ruben Gotay, PR0000000 .250
    Corky Miller, C0000000 .083
Jeff Francoeur, RF4012013 .263
Mark Kotsay, CF4000006 .297
Gregor Blanco, LF4010010 .309
Tom Glavine, P3000000 .111
    Royce Ring, P0000000 .000
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
   a- Greg Norton, PH0000100 .474
    Will Ohman, P0000000 .000
    Jeff Bennett, P0000000 .000
a-walked for Boyer in the 9th
2B - Brian McCann (11, Snell)
RBI - Jeff Francoeur 2 (22)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Francoeur (11)
SB - Kelly Johnson (4, 2nd base off Snell/Doumit)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Jeff Francoeur 1
DP - McCann-Escobar-Johnson
Atlanta Braves
Tom Glavine 7522430 4.03
Royce Ring 0.1000000 6.35
Blaine Boyer 0.2100000 4.22
Will Ohman 0.1000000 3.07
Jeff Bennett (L,0-2) 0.1311000 3.94
IBB - Bixler by Tom Glavine
Pitches-Strikes - Tom Glavine 98-48, Royce Ring 2-1, Blaine Boyer 8-4, Will Ohman 4-3, Jeff Bennett 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tom Glavine 12-4, Royce Ring 1-0, Blaine Boyer 2-0, Jeff Bennett 1-0
Batters Faced - Tom Glavine 28, Royce Ring 1, Blaine Boyer 3, Will Ohman 1, Jeff Bennett 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4023010 .261
Nate McLouth, CF4000011 .315
Jason Bay, LF3000100 .279
Ryan Doumit, C4020002 .340
Xavier Nady, RF4110002 .346
Adam LaRoche, 1B3100101 .204
Jose Bautista, 3B2010101 .235
Brian Bixler, SS3110102 .196
Ian Snell, P2010001 .071
   a- Jason Michaels, PH1000013 .203
    Damaso Marte, P0000000 .000
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
   b- Doug Mientkiewicz, PH1010000 .204
a-struck out for Snell in the 7th
b-singled for Grabow in the 9th
2B - Freddy Sanchez (8, Glavine), Ryan Doumit (7, Boyer), Xavier Nady (13, Glavine), Ian Snell (1, Glavine)
SH - Freddy Sanchez (2), Jose Bautista (3)
RBI - Freddy Sanchez 3 (16)
2-OUT RBI - Freddy Sanchez 3 (8)
Team LOB - 8
DP - F. Sanchez-Bixler-LaRoche, Bixler-F. Sanchez-LaRoche
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ian Snell 7211650 4.53
Damaso Marte (H,5) 0.2211000 5.40
Tyler Yates (BS,1) 0.1200100 3.31
John Grabow (W,2-1) 1000010 1.02
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 114-66, Damaso Marte 17-9, Tyler Yates 11-6, John Grabow 6-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 8-7, Damaso Marte 1-1, Tyler Yates 1-0, John Grabow 1-0
Batters Faced - Ian Snell 28, Damaso Marte 4, Tyler Yates 4, John Grabow 2
Game Information
Attendance - 21050
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Charlie Reliford, Second Base - Mike Estabrook, Third Base - Angel Campos