Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Brian McCann, Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman
all hit two-run homers as the Atlanta Braves cruised past the Pittsburgh
Pirates, 7-2, Monday in the opener of a three-game series at Turner Field.
Chris Johnson finished with two doubles and one RBI, while Heyward and Freeman
both hit their two-run shots during a four-run fifth inning for the Braves,
winners of three straight.
Kris Medlen (2-6) tossed seven strong frames and gave up one unearned run on
seven hits to earn his first win since April 9. He also fanned six in the
Gaby Sanchez and Clint Barmes each hit an RBI double to account for
Pittsburgh's offense. The Pirates have dropped three of four.
A.J. Burnett (3-6) lasted five innings, allowing six runs on eight hits,
including three homers, while walking three to absorb the loss. The right-
hander has gone 0-4 over his last six starts following his last win on May 3.
The Pirates opened the scoring in the third partly thanks to a miscue from
B.J. Upton. Medlen plunked Neil Walker with one out before Walker moved to
second on Garrett Jones' fly out to center after Upton originally overshot a
throw to first. Sanchez's RBI ground-rule double that followed made it 1-0.
Burnett had no problems through the first three frames, allowing just one hit,
but things changed in the fourth.
Freeman opened things with a walk and McCann put the Braves in front, 2-1,
with a blast to right field on Burnett's 3-2 offering.
Later in the frame, Pittsburgh received more bad news as catcher Russell
Martin and manager Clint Hurdle were ejected for arguing balls and strikes
while Medlen was at the plate.
The events of the fourth inning seemed to effect Pittsburgh and Burnett
negatively, as the Braves broke open the game in the fifth with a pair of two-
Heyward smacked a shot down the right-field line to make it 4-1, and two
batters later, Freeman smacked an opposite-field homer to left, extending the
lead to 6-1.
Though the damage had been done, Johnson's sacrifice fly in the seventh
rounded out the hosts' scoring, while Pittsburgh added a run on Barmes' RBI
double in the ninth.
The Pirates placed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez on the 15-day disabled list, added
right-handers Jared Hughes and Ryan Reid, recalled pitcher Phil Irwin from
Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned outfielder Alex Presley, all prior to
Monday's game ... Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen had a scheduled night
off ... McCann's bloop single in the seventh was the 1,000th hit of his career
... Burnett is 0-7 in his last 10 starts in Atlanta and has received three
runs or fewer of support in each of those starts.
The Sports Network