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Six hours later, Braves walk off 6-5 against Pirates

The Braves played one of the wildest games in recent memory tonight as they walked off the Pirates 6-5. The winning run did not cross the plate until just before 2 a.m., but Matt Adams delivered and the three hour delay was worth the wait.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that took over six hours to complete thanks to a three hour rain delay, the Braves came through in walk-off fashion, beating the Pirates 6-5 as the clock struck 2 AM.

Matt Adams continued his torrid start as a Brave on Tuesday (and Wednesday morning) with another homer and a walk-off singe that plated Nick Markakis to give Atlanta the victory. Adams has stepped in and made a big impact in his first three games, with two homers and four RBI. His flare for the dramatic in this one did not go unnoticed by those of us who had to write a late-night recap, and right now I am his biggest fan.

In the pre-rain delay portion of tonight’s game, Adams and Kurt Suzuki (who finished the game 3-for-4 with an RBI) provided the runs and Braves starter R.A. Dickey provided a quality start by lasting six innings and allowing three runs, though he did allow 11 hits. Dickey gave way to the Braves bullpen, which entered the game on a hot streak and continued that good work tonight aside from a slip-up in the ninth from Jim Johnson, but we will get to that momentarily. In the seventh, the Braves plated two runs against Pirates reliever Wade Leblanc, with Brandon Phillips and Matt Kemp providing RBI singles to give Atlanta a 4-3 lead. Arodys Vizcaino protected the one-run advantage, tossing a perfect eighth before giving way to Johnson.

The Braves opened the ninth inning by retiring Andrew McCutchen on a groundout, but followed by allowing Josh Bell and Francisco Cervelli to reach on back-to-back singles, putting the go-ahead run on base. Johnson struck out John Jaso for the second out, which brought folk hero David Freese to the plate. Freese drew a walk to load the bases for Jordy Mercer. With a two-two count and the winning runs on base, Mercer hit a looping liner over Dansby Swanson and into left field, giving the Pirates a 5-4 lead. Brian Snitker then summoned Luke Jackson, who retired the only batter he faced to give the Braves an opportunity to tie or win the game in the bottom half of the inning.

After a Jace Peterson strikeout to open the frame against Pirates closer Tony Watson, Ender Inciarte singled for his third hit of the night, which put the tying run aboard for the heart of the order. Brandon Phillips lined out to center field, then with two outs Nick Markakis doubled to the gap in right-center with Inciarte running, which allowed him to score easily and tie the game. The heroics that followed off the bat of Matt Adams sealed a Braves victory as he slashed a liner down the left-field line to plate Markakis. The Braves relied on hits from three left-handed batters against one of the toughest left-handed relievers in baseball to scratch across the deciding runs, which is pretty impressive on all accounts.

In what turned out to be a crazy finish, the Braves came through to pick up their 20th win of the season and move to within three games of .500. They will host the Pirates again on Wednesday in what will hopefully be a much more timely affair for the sake of all parties involved. But for now, goodnight and Go Braves!

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