• My Scores
  • NCAA FB
  • NHL
  • MLB
  • NFL
  • NBA
  • Golf

Pittsburgh at Atlanta

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh (20-31)000000200240
Atlanta (28-22) «10100003x5120

Braves sweep Pirates, inch closer to Phillies in NL East

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Brian McCann and the Atlanta Braves quickly shifted gears after another final at-bat win.

Bring on the Philadelphia Phillies.

Pinch-hitter Chipper Jones had a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning and the Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

Jason Heyward added a two-run triple off Javier Lopez as the Braves won their fifth straight game to pull within a half-game of NL East-leading Philadelphia.

Next up for Atlanta? A three-game series against the Phillies beginning Monday at Turner Field.

"The National League champs are coming in here," McCann said. "We need to win games."

Jones' hit helped the Braves earn their ninth win in their last at-bat.

"It keeps on giving us confidence in those late innings that somebody's going to step up and do it," Jones said.

Nate McLouth started the decisive rally with a one-out walk. He swiped second before Joel Hanrahan (1-1) walked pinch-hitter McCann. Martin Prado struck out but Jones followed with a bloop single into shallow left field, just out of the reach of shortstop Ronny Cedeno.

"It ended up being a good pitch," Hanrahan said. "What are you going to do? That's baseball. That's Chipper."

Takashi Saito (1-2) pitched a perfect eighth inning, striking out two batters, and Billy Wagner finished for his seventh save.

The Braves have won 10 of 12 and are 19-8 in May heading into the matchup with the Phillies.

"We still have 100-plus games to go," Jones said. "We're playing well. They're struggling a little bit. Let's just go out and play them. Have fun. Do the same things we've been doing for the last month. It's not do or die."

Paul Maholm pitched six innings for Pittsburgh, allowing just two runs despite giving up 10 hits. Hanrahan was charged with three runs and one hit with two walks in 1 2/3 innings.

The Pirates have lost five straight and nine of 11.

Troy Glaus drove in Atlanta's first two runs with a first-inning sacrifice fly and a third-inning homer off Maholm. Glaus leads the NL with 25 RBIs in May.

Kenshin Kawakami gave up two runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings for the Braves, failing again to pick up his first win. He has three losses and three no-decisions in six starts this month despite giving up three or fewer earned runs in five of the starts.

"He knows he pitched good," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "That's the most important thing, And the team won. That's all he cares about."

Kawakami was in line for the decision before giving up Jeff Clement's two-run homer in the seventh, a tying drive set up by a contested strikeout. Plate umpire Brian O'Nora asked third base umpire Chris Guccione for help after Garrett Jones swung and tipped strike three. Catcher David Ross caught it, but TV replays supported Guccione's ruling that the ball hit the dirt before landing in Ross's glove.

Cox argued the decision before Jones walked and scored on Clement's drive to right field.

"If we'd lost, that home run really would have stuck with me," Kawakami said.

The Braves loaded the bases with no outs in the second before Maholm struck out McLouth and Kawakami and got Prado to fly out. They loaded the bases again after the third-inning homer by Glaus, but McLouth's fly ball to right ended the inning.

Atlanta's Yunel Escobar had three hits, lifting his batting average from .188 to .203.

Notes

  • Heyward has three triples.
  • McCann missed his fourth straight start with a strained right quadriceps before entering the game in the eighth.
  • Omar Infante started for Jones at third base and Heyward was the No. 3 hitter for the third time this season.
  • Pirates 3B Andy LaRoche did not start but entered in the seventh.
 
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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Chipper Jones breaks the tie in the eighth with his RBI hit, helping the Braves win their fifth in a row.   (AP)
Chipper Jones breaks the tie in the eighth with his RBI hit, helping the Braves win their fifth in a row. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

T. Glaus
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Pittsburgh

J. Clement
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Andrew McCutchen, CF4010021 .313
Neil Walker, 3B-2B4000000 .292
Delwyn Young, RF4000022 .227
Garrett Jones, LF3110100 .255
Jeff Clement, 1B3112001 .205
   a- Bobby Crosby, PH1000000 .235
Ronny Cedeno, SS3000000 .261
Jason Jaramillo, C2000100 .205
Akinori Iwamura, 2B3010011 .173
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
    Javier Lopez, P0000000 .000
Paul Maholm, P1000001 .000
    Andy LaRoche, 3B1000010 .254
Totals2924226  
a-flied out for Clement in the 9th
Batting
HR - Jeff Clement (5, Kawakami)
SH - Paul Maholm (2)
RBI - Jeff Clement 2 (9)
Team LOB - 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm 61022351 3.90
Joel Hanrahan (L,1-1) 1.2133220 5.66
Javier Lopez 0.1100100 1.74
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 112-71, Joel Hanrahan 35-20, Javier Lopez 12-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 4-8, Joel Hanrahan 1-2, Javier Lopez 1-0
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 30, Joel Hanrahan 8, Javier Lopez 3
Atlanta Braves
Martin Prado, 2B5120015 .325
Omar Infante, 3B4000013 .302
   a- Chipper Jones, PH-3B1111000 .243
Jason Heyward, RF5022012 .301
Troy Glaus, 1B2112200 .269
Yunel Escobar, SS5030002 .203
Melky Cabrera, LF4020022 .243
David Ross, C1000202 .283
   b- Eric Hinske, PH1000000 .329
    Billy Wagner, P0000000 .000
Nate McLouth, CF3100116 .184
Kenshin Kawakami, P3010013 .143
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
    Takashi Saito, P0000000 .000
   c- Brian McCann, PH-C0100100 .263
Totals34512567  
a-singled for Infante in the 8th
b-flied out for Ross in the 8th
c-walked for Saito in the 8th
Batting
2B - Melky Cabrera (6, Maholm), Kenshin Kawakami (1, Maholm)
3B - Jason Heyward (3, Lopez)
HR - Troy Glaus (7, Maholm)
SF - Troy Glaus (2)
RBI - Chipper Jones (19), Jason Heyward 2 (38), Troy Glaus 2 (34)
2-OUT RBI - Chipper Jones (4), Jason Heyward 2 (16), Troy Glaus (19)
SB - Melky Cabrera (2, 2nd base off Maholm/Jaramillo), Nate McLouth (4, 2nd base off Hanrahan/Jaramillo)
CS - Jason Heyward (2, 2nd base by Maholm/Jaramillo)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Escobar-Glaus
Atlanta Braves
Kenshin Kawakami 6.2422221 4.66
Eric O'Flaherty 0.1000010 2.61
Takashi Saito (W,1-2) 1000020 3.13
Billy Wagner (S,7) 1000010 1.80
Pitches-Strikes - Kenshin Kawakami 93-63, Eric O'Flaherty 5-3, Takashi Saito 12-9, Billy Wagner 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kenshin Kawakami 10-7
Batters Faced - Kenshin Kawakami 25, Eric O'Flaherty 1, Takashi Saito 3, Billy Wagner 3
Game Information
Attendance - 31078
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Scott Barry, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Chris Guccione