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Braves turn in sloppy effort in 6-4 loss to Pirates

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A sloppy night all around for Atlanta.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves turned in a sloppy performance in a 6-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday night.

Things started well enough for Atlanta and pitcher R.A. Dickey who helped his own cause with a two-run single in the second inning to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. The Pirates quickly answered back in the bottom half of the inning thanks to some shaky defense by Atlanta.

Jordy Mercer singled home Gregory Polanco for the Pirates first run. Pittsburgh tied the game one batter later as Freddie Freeman couldn’t haul in an errant throw by third baseman Adonis Garcia on a slow roller off the bat of pitcher Chad Kuhl.

Atlanta retook the lead in the third on an RBI triple by Jace Peterson but the Pirates answered again in the bottom half of the frame. Polanco doubled to left with one out and advanced to third on a passed ball by catcher Kurt Suzuki. John Jaso then hit a ground ball that ricocheted off of Brandon Phillips’ glove to tie the game at 3-3. Francisco Cervelli followed with what should have been an inning ending double play but Garcia bobbled it but recovered to get Cervelli at first thanks to a nice scoop by Freeman. Josh Harrison followed with a solid single to left to score Jaso to make the score 4-3.

The Pirates added a couple of insurance runs in the sixth. Pinch hitter Alen Hanson lined an infield single off the foot of Dickey. Hanson then advanced to second on a wild pitch by Dickey and then to third on another passed ball by Suzuki. After a walk by Starling Marte, Hanson scored on another passed ball to make it 5-3. Polanco followed with an RBI single off of reliever Ian Krol to make the score 6-3.

Dickey allowed nine hits and six runs although only three were earned. He walked four and struck out four over 5 23 innings of work.

Phillips led off the eighth for the Braves with a double off the wall in center and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Suzuki to cut the lead to 6-4. Atlanta put the tying runs on base in the ninth but Tony Watson got Phillips to pop out and struck out Chase d’Arnaud to end it.

Kuhl earns the win despite six walks and a hit batsman. He allowed five hits and three runs (two earned) over five innings of work.

The Braves finished the game with 11 hits and six walks but were just 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and hit into four double plays. Phillips and Peterson each finished with two hits for Atlanta while Polanco was a perfect 4-for-4 for the Pirates.