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Late comeback bid falls short as Braves fall to Pirates, 7-4

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Kevin Gausman’s future in the rotation may hang in the balance after yet another disappointing performance

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

Kevin Gausman wasn’t fooling anyone on Wednesday night as the Braves fell to the Pirates by a score of 7-4.

Gausman, to put it lightly, was not good. His fastball would routinely be right down the middle of the plate, and the Pittsburgh hitters weren’t missing it. He lacked command of his splitter. On the rare occasion he threw something other than a fastball or splitter, the Pirates often hit the ball hard. Gausman’s ERA sits at 6.15 on the year. It will be interesting to see if the Braves opt to try and get him right with a faux stint on the Injured List.

The Braves scored the game’s first run in the second inning. Josh Donaldson doubled and would then score on an Austin Riley RBI-single to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead. That was all the scoring Atlanta would find early on, though, as Gausman’s struggles began.

The Pirates would record six hits in the bottom of the second, racking up five runs in a span of roughly 20 pitches. They would add a sixth run in the third as Colin Moran and Gregory Polanco doubled back-to-back. Moran would add a solo homer in the fifth to extend the lead to 7-1.

Joe Musgrove started for Pittsburgh and cruised through the Braves’ lineup until the 9th inning as Ronald Acuña Jr. and Dansby Swanson greeted him with back-to-back homers to chase him from the game. Freddie Freeman would then walk, and after a Donaldson strikeout, Nick Markakis doubled Freddie home to make it 7-4. Unfortunately the rally would end there as Riley lined out to the third baseman and pinch-hitter Johan Camargo struck out.

The Braves are 33-28.

The series finale will be Thursday afternoon between Mike Foltynewicz and Chris Archer. First pitch is scheduled for 12:35 p.m. ET.