Atlanta's offense looked like it could do some damage today against mediocre Pirates fifth starter Jonathan Sanchez, but the Braves ran into several outs on the basepaths and couldn't come up with timely hits as they fell to the Pirates 4-2.
Atlanta's 1st inning started off promisingly enough, with Ramiro Pena drawing a one out walk. Sanchez ran the count full to Justin Upton, and for some reason Fredi decided it would be a good idea to send Pena (who does not run particularly well) on the full count pitch. Upton struck out, Pena was thrown out, and the Braves missed a chance to capitalize against a wild starter in the first.
The Braves drew first blood in the second inning, scoring two runs on four straight singles. Chris Johnson, Reed Johnson, Gerald Laird, and Andrelton Simmons all had one-out base hits to score two. Atlanta had a chance to do more damage, but with two on and one out, Kris Medlen sacrificed and B.J. Upton struck out to end the threat.
Atlanta's lead barely lasted 10 minutes, as the Pirates got the runs right back in the bottom of the second. Pedro Alvarez led off with a single, and scored on an RBI double from the scorching hot Russell Martin. A Clint Barmes RBI single scored Martin and tied the game at two.
The Braves would put two men on in each of the third, fourth, and sixth innings, as well as one man in the fifth. They stranded all seven of those runners. In the 7th, Ramiro Pena walked again, and was again thrown out in a strike 'em out throw 'em out double play with Justin Upton batting.
The Pirates broke the tie in the 6th inning when Clint Barmes drove in Neil Walker on an RBI infield single. It was the final run Medlen would give up, as he was lifted after 6. His final line was 3 runs allowed on 7 hits and 1 walk. He struck out six men.
Pittsburgh would score one more in the seventh, on a bases loaded wild pitch from Luis Avilan.
The Braves had one last chance in the ninth, with Justin Upton batting down 2 and a man on first. Upton put a charge into one, but it died on the track, sealing the Pirates third win in a row over the Braves.
Andrelton Simmons and Justin Upton both had web gem-worthy plays in this one. Upton robbed a home run from Pedro Alvarez by scaling the left field wall, and Simmons made an amazing catch in foul ground.