The first at-bat of the game did not instill much confidence that tonight’s game would be a rubber match as Ronald Acuña Jr. deposited an offering from Trevor Williams into the left field seats to give the Braves a 1-0 lead, but from that point on both pitchers were very stingy.
Julio Teheran looked fantastic as he breezed through his first four innings with ease. His only trouble came in the bottom of the fifth inning when a walk, fielder’s choice and a stray single combined to produce a single run for the Pirates. Teheran finished up his night later on after the seventh inning after a fantastic start with five strikeouts and only one walk.
The Pirates starter Trevor Williams was equally as impressive after the first batter of the game as he finished his night with six innings of two hit ball with four strikeouts.
The game stayed tied at one until the top of the eighth inning when Dansby Swanson hit a leadoff single hard to left field. He then advanced to second on a wild pitch and stole third in front of pinch hitter Adam Duvall who walked to put runners on first and third for Ronald Acuña who also walked to load the bases. With Ender Inciarte up the Pirates turned to their bullpen and got a grounder to first to force Swanson at home and keep the game tied. Freddie Freeman finally broke the tie on the next pitch with a smash to deep left that was caught just at the fence, but still drove in the run to give the Braves a 2-1 lead.
Atlanta could add on no further in the top of the eighth and turned to Brad Brach in the bottom of the inning to preserve the lead. Despite a leadoff walk Brach was able to get through the inning thanks to two ground balls and a strikeout to turn things over to the final frame.
The Braves could not scratch across an extra run in the top of the ninth, but it mattered not as Jonny Venters entered for the save and was able to get it done efficiently. The win tonight caps a three game sweep of the Pirates after being swept by the Rockies in their last series. The trip turns to Miami where Atlanta will look to pad their lead on the NL East. Stay tuned.