National League Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Atlanta|
(Monday, April 30th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 9, Atlanta 3
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - The Pirates broke out the bats in support of
Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run home run off his college teammate Mike Minor, and
the Pirates posted their most runs of the season in a 9-3 victory over the
Braves at Turner Field.
McDonald (1-1) gave up three runs on seven hits with two walks and a career-
best 10 strikeouts over 7 2/3 frames for the Pirates, who have won two of
three. Jose Tabata scored twice, Neil Walker finished 3-for-5 and Yamaico
Navarro clubbed a two-run home run and drove in three for Pittsburgh, which
scored more than five runs for the first time this season.
"I was just trying to throw strikes and keep my team in the game," said
McDonald. "Guys were jumping on the fast balls early, so we switched things up
and went to my off speed."
Minor (2-2) gave up seven runs on eight hits with nine strikeouts and three
walks over 6 1/3 frames for Atlanta, which lost for the second time in three
games and split this wraparound series with the Pirates. Eric Hinske matched a
career high with four hits, while Freddie Freeman hit a two-run home run in
"We settled down a little bit and starting making pitches. He didn't give us
much to hit," said Freeman of McDonald. "We still hit some balls hard, but
they went right at people in the later innings."
The Braves jumped out to an early lead against McDonald, as Michael Bourn
singled but was erased on a questionable call at second on a steal attempt.
Martin Prado then walked and Freeman lined a rocket that quickly found the
right-field seats for a 2-0 edge.
Pittsburgh got its first two men on base in the second with a Casey McGehee
double and Walker bunt single, but a pop out and double play squandered the
threat. The visitors, however, seized a scoring opportunity in the third, as
Josh Harrison knocked in Rod Barajas with a single and Andrew McCutchen
allowed Tabata to cross the plate with a sacrifice fly to center.
Alvarez, who grounded into the inning-ending double play in the second, made
amends with a two-run shot in the fourth, giving Pittsburgh the 4-2 advantage.
The Pirates, after an RBI single by Hinske in the home fourth, chased Minor
and blew the game open with a pair of crooked numbers in the sixth and seventh
frames. First, they played long ball with Navarro's line-drive, two-run home
run that just cleared the wall tight to the left field line for a 6-3 edge.
Minor left in the seventh with a runner on second and one out, leaving the
ball in Chad Durbin's hands. The Pirates pounced with a McCutchen single to
place runners on the corners and a passed ball that plated Tabata and moved
the Pittsburgh center fielder into scoring position. Walker drove him home
with a single to right following a walk issued to McGehee, who scored on
Navarro's groundout for a 9-3 game.
Pittsburgh continues its road trip in St. Louis for three games starting on
Tuesday...The Braves host Philadelphia for three games starting
Tuesday...Atlanta has still won 12 of the last 19 games against the
Pirates...Every member of the Pirates starting eight finished with at least
one hit...Hinske's last four-hit game came on July 3, 2004...Alvarez and Minor
were college teammates at Vanderbilt.
04/30 22:50:57 ET