The Braves made it a closer game late, but the rally aided by two rare home runs fell short as the Braves fell to the Pirates 8-5 in the series opener.
If you were hoping that Williams Perez was going to be able to duplicate his success of his previous two starts, you were sadly mistaken. By the end of the 5th inning, Perez had given up 6 earned runs on 9 hits while walking two after throwing 85 pitches. It was at least fortunate I guess that he lasted as long as he did in this game given the depleted state of the Braves bullpen, but it would have been nice to keep dreaming that Williams could keep up his magical run.
Ultimately, it was just a case of too many baserunners and the Pirates capitalizing on those opportunites as the Pirates went 3 for 8 with RISP through the first five innings and several other at-bats were productive outs. Williams would go on another inning and not give up any more runs, but the damage had been done.
On the plus, the Braves now have double digit home runs on the season as Jeff Francoeur went deep for his first homer of the season, a two-run shot that pulled the Braves to within four runs and made the score 6-2.
Unfortunately, that excitement would be somewhat short lived as Alexi Ogando would give up a two-run homer of his own to make the Pirates lead 8-2 and the game seemed out of reach.
However, this is where things got interesting. In the top of the 8th inning, the Braves added three runs thanks to hits from Inciarte and Freeman, an RBI groundout from Jeff Francoeur, and a two-run home run from Kelly Johnson. This game marked the first multi-home run game for the Braves since Opening Day where Freddie Freeman and Adonis Garcia went deep. The Pirates' lead was then 8-5 and the Braves had a chance after a surprising display of power (for them).
The Pirates threatened to quash any hope of that though as they quickly loaded the bases with none out with Eric O'Flaherty on the mound. However, O'Flaherty struck out Andrew McCutchen and then got a pop out and another K to get out of that mess.