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Atlanta at Pittsburgh

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Atlanta (13-5)020000000281
Pittsburgh (10-8) «02000110x4100

Braves fail in clutch again, lose third straight to Pirates

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- The Atlanta Braves have hit their first rough stretch of the season.

Slumping Clint Barmes had a pair of run-scoring singles for his first two RBI of the season, including a tiebreaking hit in the sixth inning Sunday that led the Pittsburgh Pirates past Atlanta 4-2 for their third consecutive victory against the Braves.

"We're just not capitalizing on our opportunities offensively," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We're not getting that big hit when we need it. We're not catching any breaks either, like a broken-bat hit or a pitch going to the backstop. It'll turn around, though. We're playing good baseball."

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Atlanta, which has lost four of five following a 12-1 start, went 3 for 23 with runners in scoring position during the four-game series. Two of those hits came in the second inning Sunday, when Atlanta also stranded 10 runners.

Atlanta went ahead 2-0 in the second on consecutive singles by Chris Johnson, Reed Johnson, Gerald Laird and Andrelton Simmons. The Braves never scored again, and Barmes produced two big hits despite beginning the day with an .093 batting average and in an 0-for-14 slide.

After Atlanta took the lead in the second, the Pirates answered in the bottom half when Pedro Alvarez singled and scored on Russell Martin's double, and Barmes followed with a tying single.

Then in the sixth, Neil Walker singled leading off against Kris Medlen (1-2), advanced to third on Alvarez's flyout and Martin's groundout, and scored on Barmes' single to shortstop. Andrelton Simmons gloved the ball near second but couldn't get the throw to first in time as Barmes raised his average to .130 with a 2-for-3 day.

Luis Avilan threw a run-scoring wild pitch in the seventh.

"We had the matchup we wanted there in the sixth inning with Kris against Barmes, and he just hit the ball to a spot where we couldn't make a play on it," Gonzalez said. "Sometimes, it happens that way."

Medlen admitted it was a frustrating way to fall behind.

"I made a pretty good pitch, and it wound up being a little infield single that decided the game," Medlen said.

Medlen lost for first time in 29 regular-season starts in which he was given a lead. He allowed three runs and six hits in six innings with six strikeouts and one walk.

"I really haven't been swinging the bat as badly as it looks," Barmes said. "If some hard-hit balls had found some holes, then my average would be better. Still, I know it looks bad when you look at the average, and it's tough to keep grinding and having nothing to show for it."

Justin Wilson (1-0) got his first major league win by giving up one hit in 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He entered with the score tied in the sixth and induced an inning-ending double-play grounder from B.J. Upton.

Jason Grilli pitched a scoreless ninth inning. Grilli entered the season with five saves and is seven for seven in chances this year.

Wilson, Grilli and fellow relievers Jeanmar Gomez, Jared Hughes and Tony Watson combined for six scoreless innings after Jonathan Sanchez needed 74 pitches to get through three innings. Sanchez allowed two runs and four hits, lowering his ERA to 11.12 from 12.96.

"We're not getting that big hit when we need it," Braves left fielder Justin Upton said.

Notes

  • Atlanta 2B Dan Uggla (strained left calf) missed the game after being injured Saturday night but hopes to play Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Colorado.
  • Braves 1B Freddie Freeman (strained right oblique) is expected to be activated from the DL Monday after a three-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett that ended Sunday. He went 5 for 10 with two doubles.
  • Pittsburgh RHP Charlie Morton (elbow surgery) is to make his next rehab start for Double-A Altoona on Tuesday and LHP Francisco Liriano (broken bone in right upper arm) for Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday.
  • LHP Mike Minor (2-1, 0.95) is scheduled to pitch for Atlanta on Monday against LHP Jeff Francis (1-1, 8.25).
  • The Pirates open a four-game series at Philadelphia on Monday night with RHP A.J. Burnett (1-2, 2.63) facing RHP Tyler Cloyd, who will be called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
 
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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Clint Barmes comes through with a pair of run-scoring singles, including a tiebreaking hit in the sixth inning. (Getty Images)
Clint Barmes comes through with a pair of run-scoring singles, including a tiebreaking hit in the sixth inning. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

C. Barmes
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Atlanta

K. Medlen
IP 6.0
H 7
ER 3
BB 1
K 6
 
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
B.J. Upton, CF5010024 .167
Ramiro Pena, 2B3000223 .286
Justin Upton, LF3000222 .299
Evan Gattis, 1B3010121 .250
Chris Johnson, 3B4110013 .407
Reed Johnson, RF4110023 .125
Gerald Laird, C4021000 .300
Andrelton Simmons, SS3021100 .211
Kris Medlen, P2000023 .000
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
    Luis Avilan, P0000000 .000
    Cory Gearrin, P0000000 .000
   a- Jordan Schafer, PH0000100 .444
Totals31282713  
a-walked for Gearrin in the 9th
Batting
2B - Evan Gattis (3, Wilson)
SH - Kris Medlen (1)
RBI - Gerald Laird (2), Andrelton Simmons (7)
SB - Justin Upton (3, 2nd base off Gomez/Martin)
CS - Ramiro Pena 2 (2, 2nd base by Sanchez/Martin, 2nd base by Wilson/Martin)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Chris Johnson (1, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kris Medlen (L,1-2) 6733160 2.16
Luis Ayala0111000 4.26
Luis Avilan 1100100 1.69
Cory Gearrin 1100010 0.00
HBP - Marte (by Kris Medlen)
WP - Luis Avilan (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Kris Medlen 99-64, Luis Ayala 2-1, Luis Avilan 20-10, Cory Gearrin 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kris Medlen 5-7, Luis Avilan 1-2, Cory Gearrin 2-0
Batters Faced - Kris Medlen 27, Luis Ayala 1, Luis Avilan 5, Cory Gearrin 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Starling Marte, LF4010011 .319
Travis Snider, RF3120112 .357
Andrew McCutchen, CF4010013 .273
Garrett Jones, 1B4000003 .300
    Tony Watson, P0000000 .000
    Jason Grilli, P0000000 .000
Neil Walker, 2B3110112 .266
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4110012 .125
Russell Martin, C4121001 .216
Clint Barmes, SS3022000 .130
Jonathan Sanchez, P1000001 .000
    Jeanmar Gomez, P1000010 .500
    Justin Wilson, P1000011 .000
    Jared Hughes, P0000000 .000
    Gaby Sanchez, 1B1000001 .214
Totals33410327  
Batting
2B - Travis Snider (7, Medlen), Russell Martin (4, Medlen)
SH - Clint Barmes (3)
RBI - Russell Martin (3), Clint Barmes 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Clint Barmes (1)
CS - Starling Marte (2, 2nd base by Medlen/Laird)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Martin-Walker, Barmes-Walker-G. Jones, Martin-Walker
PB - Russell Martin (2)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jonathan Sanchez 3422350 11.12
Jeanmar Gomez 2.1300230 0.96
Justin Wilson (W,1-0) 1.1100110 1.50
Jared Hughes (H,3) 0.1000010 5.40
Tony Watson (H,4) 1000010 3.00
Jason Grilli (S,7) 1000120 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jonathan Sanchez 74-41, Jeanmar Gomez 46-29, Justin Wilson 17-9, Jared Hughes 4-3, Tony Watson 17-12, Jason Grilli 23-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathan Sanchez 1-2, Jeanmar Gomez 2-2, Justin Wilson 1-0
Batters Faced - Jonathan Sanchez 15, Jeanmar Gomez 12, Justin Wilson 4, Jared Hughes 1, Tony Watson 3, Jason Grilli 4
Game Information
Attendance - 20873
Game Time - 3:30
Temperature - 45
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Chris Conroy