Series Recap: Atlanta Braves vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Kevin C. Cox

The Braves continued their stellar play at home, improving their league-best home record to 21-7 with a three-game sweep of the upstart Pirates. Pittsburgh entered the series with the second-best ERA in all of MLB and wins in 14 of their last 19 games, but it was the Pirates who walked the plank, getting swept for the second time this season.

Julio Teheran was the undeniable pitching star of the series, coming within four outs of a no-hitter and establishing a new career high in strikeouts in Wednesday's 5-0 win. He had all his pitches working and showed just exactly what he's capable of. This was undoubtedly the best start of his young career.

Kris Medlen wasn't too shabby, either. He finally had some run support with help from three two-run homers in Monday's 7-2 win; he struck out six hitters in seven innings and did not issue a walk. Mike Minor also did not walk anyone in his six innings on Tuesday; he gave up a pair of solo home runs among the four total runs allowed, but was not involved in the decision.

B.J. Upton had only one hit in 13 plate appearances in the series, but that one hit was a game-tying home run in the sixth inning Tuesday. If he's doing anything different, it must be working because he drew four walks in the three games, three in Wednesday's win, and only struck out three times.

Andrelton Simmons extended his hitting streak to 11 games with six hits in the series; one of those hits was the first walk-off hit of his career on Tuesday in the 10th inning. He is 18-50 (.360) during his hitting streak.

Jason Heyward entered the series hitless in his last 19 at-bats, but he had a profitable series, earning six hits and hitting his first home run since April 16 earlier this year.

Brian McCann reached a personal milestone in Monday's win. His two hits, one of which was his seventh home run of the season, pushed his career total to 1,000; the milestone hit came in the seventh inning of Atlanta's 7-2 win.

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