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Atlanta Braves Defeat Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 Behind Strong Pitching and Timely Hitting

April 28th, 2012 at 12:31 AM
By Jonathan McCullough

Coming off of a 5-2 road trip, the Atlanta Braves stayed hot as they began a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 6-1 victory on Friday night in Atlanta.

The Braves' offense didn't show much life through the first six innings as they managed to muster only two runs against AJ Burnett. However, the offense kicked into high gear against the Pirates' bullpen in the seventh inning.

The Braves took a 2-1 lead into the seventh inning before erupting for four runs off of Tony Watson and Evan Meek. Dan Uggla hit a two-run double, and Chipper Jones followed with a two-run single on an 0-2 count to push the lead to 6-1.

Tommy Hanson was effective for the Braves, giving up only one run on six hits and three walks while striking out five batters.

“I felt good with my pitches," Hanson said. "Not great, but good. It was a good team win. I was kind of pulling off some pitches, so I didn’t have my best command, but I battled and made a pitch when I had to.”

Michael Bourn, Martin Prado, and Jones each recorded two hits in the game, and Jason Heyward added a stolen base, making him a perfect 7-for-7 on steal attempts this season. Tyler Pastornicky drove in Heyward with the go-ahead run with a single in the fourth inning. Kris Medlen pitched three scoreless innings to convert an unconventional save.

“We did a nice job," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Uggla and Chipper broke it open that inning, we were able not to use O’Flaherty or Venters or Kimbrel for that matter and Medlen giving us those three innings at the end. I’m not sure the last time we had a three-inning save. Good for him, good for us. We swung the bats good. I thought we grinded out AJ pretty good, some at-bats."

The one damper on an otherwise great night of baseball was the injury to Brian McCann, who had to leave the game after five innings with a strained intercostal muscle in his right side. He is day-to-day at the moment.

“Just want to be smart about things and make sure I make this a day or two or three thing instead of a DL stint,” McCann said. “Just precautionary reasons. We wanted to make sure it heals up.”

The Braves will send Randall Delgado (2-1, 5.74 ERA) to the mound against Erik Bedard (0-4, 2.63 ERA) on Saturday night at 7:10 PM EDT.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla, Jason Heyward, Michael Bourn, MLB, Tommy Hanson

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