Streaking Braves send Pirates to 7th straight loss
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The way the Braves have been hitting, the Pirates needed a lot more than the return of Andrew McCutchen to slow them down.
Justin Upton homered and drove in five runs to highlight Atlanta's fifth straight win, an 11-3 drubbing that sent Pittsburgh to a seventh consecutive loss.
Jason Heyward added two hits and three RBI and Evan Gattis hit a solo homer for the Braves, who have scored 33 runs during their winning streak.
Aaron Harang (10-7) tossed 8 1/3 innings and limited Pittsburgh to three runs on nine hits to pick up his first victory since July 10.
McCutchen went 0-for-4 in his return from missing two weeks with a fractured rib, and all the Pirates managed offensively was an RBI groundout from Neil Walker in the fourth and run-scoring singles from Brandon Cumpton and Ike Davis in the sixth and ninth, respectively.
Otherwise, it was all Braves, who hammered Francisco Liriano (3-10) for nine runs -- seven earned -- on 10 hits over the first four-plus innings.
Harang helped himself with a two-out, RBI single in the second inning, and Upton, who was playing in his 1,000th career game, reached the left-field stands for a three-run homer in the third.
Heyward tacked on an RBI single in the fourth, and after the Pirates got on the board in the bottom half, Atlanta broke it open with a five-spot in the fifth.
An error, single and walk loaded the bases for B.J. Upton, whose base hit drove in a run and ended Liriano's outing. Heyward and Justin Upton both singled in a pair for a 10-1 cushion.
Gattis' mammoth ninth-inning blast down the left-field line capped the rout.
Harang's 21 quality starts rank second in the NL behind Johnny Cueto's 23. He reached double-digit wins for the seventh time in his 13-year career ... Justin Upton is riding a 10-game hitting streak ... The Pirates have already lost this three-game series, just their second series loss at PNC Park in their last nine ... This is Pittsburgh's longest skid since September 2012.
08/19 22:15:34 ET