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Braves rally late for 8-6 win over Pirates

Kevin Pillar and Orlando Arcia came through with a couple of clutch hits in the ninth to help Atlanta snap a three-game losing streak.

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

Yonny Chirinos struggled but the Atlanta Braves came up with a surprising ninth-inning comeback win against David Bednar and pulled out an 8-6 decision against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

It didn’t take the Braves long to get on the board Tuesday night. After getting brushed back by the first pitch of the game, Ronald Acuña Jr. stepped in and smoked Mitch Keller’s second pitch 448 feet to put Atlanta in front 1-0. That was the 31st time in Acuña’s career that he led off the game with a home run.

During their three-game losing streak, the Braves have struggled to find shut down innings after they have scored. That trend continued in the first inning as back-to-back walks with one out came back to haunt Yonny Chirinos. Chirinos got a much-needed strikeout of Jack Suwinski for the second out, but Ke’Bryan Hayes jumped on the first pitch he saw and drove it out to left center to give the Pirates a 3-1 lead.

Chirinos then allowed two straight singles to Alfonso Rivas and Liover Peguero, but Alika Williams lined out softly to Ozzie Albies to leave them stranded.

Eddie Rosario, who game into the game in a 2-for-21 funk, led off the second with a solid single to right. Orlando Arcia then reached on an infield single. However, Atlanta couldn’t come up with a key hit as Michael Harris struck out, before Acuña bounced into a double play to end the inning.

Chirinos retired the side in order in the second and then the Braves’ offense got back to work. Albies got things started with a bloop single to left. After a fly out by Riley, Matt Olson singled to center to put runners at the corners. Travis d’Arnaud then cleared the bases with a double to left center to tie the game.

Chirinos worked a scoreless third, but the Pirates retook the lead in the fourth as Alfonso Rivas homered to straight way center to make it 4-3. The long ball continued to sting Chirinos in the fifth as Josh Palacios and Bryan Reynolds went back-to-back to start the inning to push Pittsburgh’s lead to 6-3.

Atlanta got those two runs back in the sixth against the Pirates bullpen. Kevin Pillar flew out for the first out, but Arcia followed with a solo homer to left center to make it 6-4.

Harris then singled which prompted another pitching change by Pirates manager Derek Shelton. Colin Holderman came in to face Acuña and hit him in the elbow with his third pitch, a 97 mph fastball. Acuña would leave the game and was replaced by Forrest Wall.

Holderman struck out Albies for the second out but then walked Riley to load the bases. Olson then worked a five pitch walk that forced in a run to cut the deficit to 6-5.

Chirinos would exit after the fifth and it was another ugly line. He allowed seven hits and six runs over five innings. Four of those hits left the ballpark.

Joe Jimenez struck out two in a scoreless seventh. Brad Hand retired the side in order in the eighth. However, Pirates reliever Andre Jackson struck out four of the six Braves hitters he faced between the seventh and the eighth.

Kirby Yates pitched around a leadoff walk in the eighth to keep the deficit at one run.

The Braves had one more rally left in them against Pirates closer David Bednar. Olson walked with one out and then advanced all the way to third on a double by d’Arnaud that hit off the glove of Hayes at third. With the infield in, Marcell Ozuna sent a sharp grounder to third which Hayes fielded and then caught Olson in a run down for the second out.

Down to their last out, Kevin Pillar delivered a game-tying single that scored pinch-runner Nicky Lopez.

Arcia followed with a double just inside the bag at third that scored Ozuna and Pillar to put Atlanta in front 8-6.

Raisel Iglesias entered in the ninth and retired the first two hitters before Bryan Reynolds singled to right. Iglesias then lost Andrew McCutchen on a 3-2 pitch to put the tying runs on base. He then ran the count to 3-2 on Jack Suwinski who bounced back to the mound for the final out to end the game.

Atlanta improves to 71-40 on the season and snaps a three-game losing streak. The series will continue Wednesday night with Max Fried matching up against Pirates rookie Quinn Priester.

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