|Pittsburgh (10-8) «||0||2||0||0||0||1||1||0||x||4||10||0|
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.
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.
|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|
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|B.J. Upton, CF||5||0||1||0||0||2||4||.167|
|Ramiro Pena, 2B||3||0||0||0||2||2||3||.286|
|Justin Upton, LF||3||0||0||0||2||2||2||.299|
|Evan Gattis, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||2||1||.250|
|Chris Johnson, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||3||.407|
|Reed Johnson, RF||4||1||1||0||0||2||3||.125|
|Gerald Laird, C||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||.300|
|Andrelton Simmons, SS||3||0||2||1||1||0||0||.211|
|Kris Medlen, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||3||.000|
|Luis Ayala, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Luis Avilan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Cory Gearrin, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Jordan Schafer, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.444|
|a-walked for Gearrin in the 9th|
|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|
|E - Chris Johnson (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|Kris Medlen (L,1-2)||6||7||3||3||1||6||0||2.16|
|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|
|Starling Marte, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.319|
|Travis Snider, RF||3||1||2||0||1||1||2||.357|
|Andrew McCutchen, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.273|
|Garrett Jones, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.300|
|Tony Watson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jason Grilli, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Neil Walker, 2B||3||1||1||0||1||1||2||.266|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.125|
|Russell Martin, C||4||1||2||1||0||0||1||.216|
|Clint Barmes, SS||3||0||2||2||0||0||0||.130|
|Jonathan Sanchez, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|Jeanmar Gomez, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.500|
|Justin Wilson, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.000|
|Jared Hughes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Gaby Sanchez, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.214|
|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|
|DP - Martin-Walker, Barmes-Walker-G. Jones, Martin-Walker|
|PB - Russell Martin (2)|
|Justin Wilson (W,1-0)||1.1||1||0||0||1||1||0||1.50|
|Jared Hughes (H,3)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||5.40|
|Tony Watson (H,4)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.00|
|Jason Grilli (S,7)||1||0||0||0||1||2||0||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|
|Attendance - 20873|
|Game Time - 3:30|
|Temperature - 45|
|Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Chris Conroy|