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Braves win fourth straight with huge first inning, beat Pirates 7-3

Homers from Heyward and Simmons paved the way for a six-run first inning.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This is such a nice way to start a road trip.

The Braves scored six first-inning runs off Vance Worley and Ervin Santana was just good enough to win Atlanta's fourth straight game by a final score of 7-3.

Three pitches into the game, Jason Heyward sent a home run over the scoreboard in right field; It only took three more for Andrelton Simmons to hit one himself. Six pitches into the game, and Worley and the Pirates were down 2-0 but it would only get worse for them.

Freeman walked; Justin Upton singled; Chris Johnson singled off Neil Walker's glove, allowing Freeman to score; after La Stella struck out looking, Gerald Laird singled home a run; Bonifacio walked to load the bases.

Santana batted before ever throwing a pitch in the game, and got some help from Pittsburgh's defense when Neil Walker threw away a chance at a double play on Santana's ground ball, allowing two more runs to score.

That would be plenty for Santana, although he didn't make it easy for himself; he left a lot of pitches up and paid the price on three of them. Starling Marte victimized him twice with home runs leading off the second and fourth innings; Neil Walker's solo blast in the third cleared the bleachers and bounced into the river. With Marte's second homer, suddenly the score was 6-3.

Marte was at it again in the sixth, leading off with a double. Travis Snider followed with a double to straightaway center, but Bonifacio almost caught the ball and Marte could only advance to third. Santana would strike out the next hitter, but that would be it for him as Fredi called on (gulp) Luis Avilan to face Ike Davis.

No matter how much Ike Davis would suck, somehow he'd manage to hurt the Braves in some fashion. Fortunately, Davis and the Pirates barved up when he lined into a double play to end the inning.

After their big first inning, Braves hitters did nothing against Worley who was able to last five more innings with eight strikeouts, five of them looking.

Heyward added a sac fly in the eighth inning.

And thanks for nothing, 'zona.

Win Expectancy

Source: FanGraphs

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