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Extra inning agony: Pirates fall again to Braves

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- David Ross showed again he can be an effective fill-in for Brian McCann.

Atlanta's backup catcher hit a bases-loaded single in the 10th inning and the Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 on Wednesday night for their second straight victory in extra innings.

This time, there was no controversy, no debate and a lot less innings.

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Atlanta and Pittsburgh played 19 innings Tuesday night before Julio Lugo scored the winning run on a call at the plate that umpire Jerry Meals later acknowledged was incorrect.

Ross became Atlanta's starting catcher when the Braves placed McCann on the 15-day DL before the game with a left oblique injury. Ross came through with two hits, driving in both of the Braves' runs.

"You're not replacing B-Mac," Ross said. "I'm trying to get in there and hold down the fort until he comes back."

Ross is hitting .296. Most recently, he served as Tim Hudson's personal catcher in a routine that gave McCann a regular day off.

The Braves are 17-6 with Ross starting, and the veteran is hitting .316 with four homers and 18 RBI in those starts.

"I can't think of very many teams in the major leagues that have the quality we do at the backup catcher position," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Nate McLouth led off the 10th with a single to right off Chris Leroux (1-1), who was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game.

McLouth advanced to third on Freddie Freeman's one-out single and Leroux intentionally walked Dan Uggla to load the bases for Ross.

Scott Linebrink (4-2) pitched the 10th for the win. Uggla finished with three hits to extend his career-best hitting streak to 18 games.

"I would have done the same thing they did, pitch around him to get to me," Ross said.

Meals said Wednesday he watched a replay and Pittsburgh catcher Mike McKenry tagged Lugo before he scored the winning run in the second game of the series.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he wanted the clear acknowledgement from Meals that he missed the call.

"I think that would be appropriate," Hurdle said before Meals released his statement. "It would be professional. It would be respectful. And then we could all move on."

Hurdle spoke with Meals when lineup cards were exchanged at home plate before the game. The two shook hands, and Hurdle gave the umpire a pat on the back before returning to the dugout.

The 19-inning game lasted 6 hours, 39 minutes and was the longest in Turner Field history and in both franchise histories. The game drained each team's bullpen, and the start of another extra-inning game had Gonzalez worried.

"I was starting to get nervous, I was starting to get real nervous," Gonzalez said.

Pittsburgh, seeking its first winning season in 19 years, fell 1 1/2 games behind St Louis and Milwaukee in the NL Central.

The Pirates were held to seven hits by Jair Jurrjens and three relievers.

"We're not built to slug," Hurdle said. "You combine that and you come in here and face the Braves starting rotation, it's one of the best ones in the league. It's tough duty.

"We've got to find some bats to get in play. Hopefully that will start tomorrow."

Jurrjens helped preserve the bullpen by pitching seven innings, allowing Garrett Jones' sixth-inning homer to right-center. Jurrjens gave up six hits, walked three and struck out four.

The Braves scored one run and had three hits off Paul Maholm in the sixth. Martin Prado led off with a bloop single to left and scored on a single by Ross.

Prado, who went 0 for 9 in the 19-inning game, had two hits but was thrown out at third by left fielder Xavier Paul while trying to stretch a double in the first.

Maholm gave up nine hits in seven innings. He struck out eight and walked none.

Atlanta is concerned about its lineup after losing two regulars for at least two weeks, placing McCann and outfielder Jordan Schafer on the 15-day disabled list.

The Braves are also missing third baseman Chipper Jones, who is limited by a strained right quadriceps to pinch-hitting duty.

Jones grounded out in the ninth.

Schafer leads the team with 15 stolen bases, usually as the leadoff hitter. McCann is hitting .306 with 18 homers and a team-leading 55 RBI.

The Braves recalled catcher J.C. Boscan and outfielder Wilkin Ramirez from Triple-A Gwinnett. Ramirez started in right field. Jason Heyward had the night off.

Boscan will serve as the backup to Ross while McCann recovers.

Notes

  • The Pirates placed INF Chase d'Arnaud on the 15-day DL with a fractured right little finger.
  • The Braves acquired C Wil Nieves from Milwaukee for cash and assigned Nieves to Triple-A Gwinnett.
  • Pittsburgh C Ryan Doumit was 0 for 3 in his second injury rehab game with Triple-A Indianapolis. Doumit is returning from a left ankle sprain.
 
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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Dan Uggla (18-game hitting streak) celebrates Atlanta's victory by leaping into the arms of 10th inning hero David Ross. (Getty Images)
Dan Uggla (18-game hitting streak) celebrates Atlanta's victory by leaping into the arms of 10th inning hero David Ross. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

D. Ross
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Pittsburgh

P. Maholm
IP 7.0
H 9
ER 1
BB 0
K 8
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Xavier Paul, LF3010000 .253
   a- Matt Diaz, PH-LF1000010 .270
Garrett Jones, RF4111010 .233
Neil Walker, 2B4020000 .272
Andrew McCutchen, CF3000100 .274
Pedro Alvarez, 3B3010122 .210
Steve Pearce, 1B4010011 .257
Brandon Wood, SS3000113 .212
Eric Fryer, C4010012 .273
Paul Maholm, P3000012 .125
    Tony Watson, P0000000 .000
    Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
   b- Lyle Overbay, PH1000001 .230
    Chris Leroux, P0000000 .000
Totals3317138  
a-struck out for Paul in the 8th
b-lined out for Veras in the 10th
Batting
2B - Pedro Alvarez (7, Jurrjens)
HR - Garrett Jones (10, Jurrjens)
RBI - Garrett Jones (37)
CS - Xavier Paul (4, 2nd base by Jurrjens/Ross), Neil Walker (3, 2nd base by Jurrjens/Ross)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Xavier Paul 1
DP - Walker-Wood-Pearce
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Paul Maholm 7911080 3.16
Tony Watson 1100000 1.80
Jose Veras 1100020 3.26
Chris Leroux (L,1-1) 0.1311100 1.50
IBB - Uggla by Chris Leroux
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 109-73, Tony Watson 5-5, Jose Veras 11-8, Chris Leroux 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 8-4, Tony Watson 1-1, Jose Veras 1-0
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 29, Tony Watson 3, Jose Veras 4, Chris Leroux 5
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Nate McLouth, CF5120011 .231
Martin Prado, LF5120003 .270
Freddie Freeman, 1B5030011 .287
Dan Uggla, 2B4030101 .205
David Ross, C4022002 .296
Wilkin Ramirez, RF3000015 .231
   a- Chipper Jones, PH1000000 .260
    Scott Linebrink, P0000000 .000
Julio Lugo, 3B4000045 .167
Alex Gonzalez, SS4020010 .228
Jair Jurrjens, P1000000 .103
   b- Brooks Conrad, PH1000010 .221
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
    Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
   c- Eric Hinske, PH-RF1000011 .250
Totals382142110  
a-grounded out for Ramirez in the 9th
b-struck out for Jurrjens in the 7th
c-struck out for Kimbrel in the 9th
Batting
2B - Martin Prado (18, Maholm), Freddie Freeman (24, Maholm), Dan Uggla (16, Maholm), Alex Gonzalez (17, Veras)
SH - David Ross (1), Jair Jurrjens (6)
RBI - David Ross 2 (18)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Martin Prado 1
DP - Prado-Ross, Jurrjens-A. Gonzalez-Uggla, Freeman
E - Wilkin Ramirez (1, Dropped fly)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jair Jurrjens 7611341 2.38
Eric O'Flaherty 1000020 0.92
Craig Kimbrel 1000020 2.08
Scott Linebrink (W,4-2) 1100000 3.02
Pitches-Strikes - Jair Jurrjens 116-75, Eric O'Flaherty 16-9, Craig Kimbrel 11-7, Scott Linebrink 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jair Jurrjens 7-7, Eric O'Flaherty 1-0
Batters Faced - Jair Jurrjens 27, Eric O'Flaherty 3, Craig Kimbrel 3, Scott Linebrink 3
Game Information
Attendance - 24186
Game Time - 3:14
Temperature - 91
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Jerry Meals