Pittsburgh at Atlanta

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh (27-32) «002000100360
Atlanta (29-29)000001001260

Pirates 3, Braves 2

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- On a day when he was going to start, Jeff Karstens started out in the Pittsburgh bullpen.

He wasn't there long.

Karstens entered in relief after the pitcher who replaced him in the rotation, Charlie Morton, left the game with a tight left hamstring. The former starter gave up only one run in 4 2/3 innings, leading the Pirates past the Atlanta Braves 3-2 on Wednesday.

"I did what I had to do to save the bullpen," Karstens said. "I'm used to throwing a lot."

Adam LaRoche had two RBI and Craig Monroe pulled off some nifty baserunning to score a crucial run for the Pirates, who snapped a three-game losing streak and denied Atlanta its first four-game winning streak of the season.

Morton was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis to start against his former team, but the Pirates right-hander lasted only one inning. Karstens (3-4) took over and didn't allow a run until the sixth.

Asked if he expected to be called in so soon, Karstens quipped, "I don't think my arm expected it."

LaRoche put the Pirates ahead in the third against Jair Jurrjens (5-4), driving in a run with a forceout. Jason Jaramillo made it 2-0 with a two-out single.

After Atlanta closed to 2-1 on a near-homer by Brian McCann, Monroe's heads-up play on the base paths restored the two-run lead. He led off the seventh as a pinch-hitter and was grazed by Eric O'Flaherty's pitch. Monroe moved up on a groundout and was still at second with two outs when LaRoche hit a hard shot up the middle.

Second baseman Kelly Johnson made a diving stop and flipped to shortstop Yunel Escobar, trying for a force at second. The toss was late and Monroe never stopped, streaking around third while Escobar held the ball, not bothering to look toward the runner.

His delayed throw home was wild, and it wouldn't have gotten the speedy Monroe anyway.

"It wasn't heads-up," Braves manager Bobby Cox said, "and I don't know if anybody was yelling to tell him."

Escobar hustled out of the clubhouse after the game without speaking to reporters, leaving behind his teammates to explain what happened.

"He was probably assuming [Monroe] couldn't score," Johnson said. "Usually when you have the ball, you peek in to see where the runners are."

Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his 14th save, giving up a two-out homer to Garret Anderson.

Escobar, who had the game-winning hit Tuesday, doubled in the sixth and came around to score on McCann's towering drive to left-center. The ball struck the top of the wall, bounced back into play and was ruled a double by the umpiring crew.

Cox came out to question the call, and three umpires headed down a tunnel next to the Pirates dugout for the first video review in Turner Field history. They only needed about a minute to decide the call was right.

"It was real close, close enough to give it a look," said McCann, who thought from the crowd's reaction that he had hit a game-tying homer.

While both teams managed only six hits, the Pirates had plenty of chances. Atlanta walked seven and hit two batters, but Pittsburgh left the bases loaded three times.

Brandon Moss comes up twice in those situations, striking out in the first and grounding out in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Eric Hinske took a called third strike with the bases full in the ninth.

Morton got through the first, allowing one hit, but he headed straight to clubhouse after the inning. The Pirates said his hamstring tightened before the game and he couldn't pitch through it.

"It's very disappointing," said Morton, who was listed as day to day. "I was anxious to get back to Atlanta and get in some quality innings."

Morton was one of three prospects traded by the Braves last week for All-Star center fielder Nate McLouth. The right-hander was called up after Karstens, initially listed as Wednesday's starter, pitched in relief during Monday's 15-inning loss to the Braves.

"The guy has a rubber arm," LaRoche said. "When he's on, he's dangerous."

Jurrjens went six innings, giving up four hits and two runs while striking out seven. This was the sixth time in 13 starts that Atlanta has scored two runs or less.

"It's just a little frustrating," Jurrjens said. "This was a big game for us, and we let it get away."

Notes

The Braves have five three-game winning streaks this season. ... Greg Norton made his second straight start at first base for Atlanta and wound up falling over the mound after leaping to cut off a throw to the plate in the third. ... LaRoche has reached base safely in 20 of his last 23 games.

 
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
Pittsburgh

A. LaRoche
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Atlanta

G. Anderson
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Andrew McCutchen, CF5000021 .324
Nyjer Morgan, LF5120011 .269
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4020101 .315
Adam LaRoche, 1B3012200 .244
Andy LaRoche, 3B2100201 .293
Brandon Moss, RF3000126 .250
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
   a- Eric Hinske, PH1000013 .282
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
Jason Jaramillo, C3011100 .269
Jack Wilson, SS4000013 .259
Charlie Morton, P0000000 .000
   b- Zach Duke, PH0000000 .217
    Jeff Karstens, P1000010 .067
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
   c- Craig Monroe, PH-RF1100000 .222
Totals3236378  
a-struck out for Grabow in the 9th
b-hit a sacrifice bunt for Morton in the 4th
c-hit by pitch for Burnett in the 7th
Batting
2B - Freddy Sanchez (21, J. Bennett)
SH - Zach Duke (7)
RBI - Adam LaRoche 2 (28), Jason Jaramillo (15)
2-OUT RBI - Adam LaRoche (11), Jason Jaramillo (6)
SB - Nyjer Morgan (14, 2nd base off Jurrjens/McCann)
Team LOB - 12
Pittsburgh Pirates
Charlie Morton 1100000 0.00
Jeff Karstens (W,3-4) 4.2411000 5.16
Sean Burnett (H,4) 0.1000000 3.04
John Grabow (H,10) 2000020 3.67
Matt Capps (S,14) 1111001 5.49
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 13-9, Jeff Karstens 59-43, Sean Burnett 4-2, John Grabow 18-14, Matt Capps 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 2-1, Jeff Karstens 5-9, John Grabow 2-2, Matt Capps 1-2
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 4, Jeff Karstens 18, Sean Burnett 1, John Grabow 6, Matt Capps 4
Atlanta Braves
Nate McLouth, CF4010000 .259
Yunel Escobar, SS4120001 .302
Chipper Jones, 3B4000002 .327
Brian McCann, C4021001 .314
Garret Anderson, LF4111002 .254
Greg Norton, 1B4000011 .098
Jeff Francoeur, RF3000000 .240
Kelly Johnson, 2B3000010 .238
Jair Jurrjens, P2000000 .120
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
   a- Matt Diaz, PH1000000 .276
    Jeff Bennett, P0000000 .000
Totals3326202  
a-flied out for Moylan in the 8th
Batting
2B - Nate McLouth (9, Karstens), Yunel Escobar (14, Karstens), Brian McCann 2 (10, Karstens, Karstens)
HR - Garret Anderson (3, Capps)
RBI - Brian McCann (24), Garret Anderson (17)
2-OUT RBI - Brian McCann (17), Garret Anderson (9)
Team LOB - 4
Atlanta Braves
Jair Jurrjens (L,5-4) 6422370 2.85
Eric O'Flaherty 0.2111100 3.27
Peter Moylan 1.1000100 5.09
Jeff Bennett 1100210 2.67
IBB - F. Sanchez by Eric O'Flaherty, LaRoche by Jeff Bennett
HBP - LaRoche (by Jair Jurrjens), Monroe (by Eric O'Flaherty)
Pitches-Strikes - Jair Jurrjens 111-74, Eric O'Flaherty 20-11, Peter Moylan 21-12, Jeff Bennett 23-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jair Jurrjens 6-5, Eric O'Flaherty 2-0, Peter Moylan 2-2, Jeff Bennett 2-0
Batters Faced - Jair Jurrjens 26, Eric O'Flaherty 5, Peter Moylan 5, Jeff Bennett 6
Game Information
Attendance - 21610
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Dana DeMuth