Braves Lose NL East Race With 2-1 Loss To Pirates

Justin K. Aller - Getty Images

Atlanta managed only two hits against lefty Jeff Locke, who received his first major-league win.

The Braves, or should I say the "Barves", came up just short in the NL East.

Jeff Locke entered the game winless in nine career starts with a 6.40 ERA for the Pirates, but held Atlanta hitters to just two hits in six innings despite five walks, defeating the Braves 2-1. With the loss, Washington clinched the East division and Atlanta will have to settle for the one-game Wild Card playoff.

Both Atlanta hits and the team’s only run came in the third. Michael Bourn hit a two-out single and after Martin Prado walked, Jason Heyward brought home Bourn with a single to center.

In the bottom of the third, Paul Maholm surrendered a leadoff triple to Starling Marte; the outfielder trotted home on a groundout by Chase d’Arnaud to tie the game. In the fifth, though, Marte delivered the deciding blow, teeing off on a high fastball from Maholm and sending it over the center field wall for a solo home run and a lead the Pirates would keep.

Only two Atlanta hitters reached base after the fifth. The Braves received six walks in total and left six on base, including the bases loaded in the third. Maholm took the loss despite throwing seven innings and striking out eight.

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