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Braves clinch play-off spot with 5-2 win over Pirates

Atlanta is the first team to clinch a spot in the postseason.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Atlanta Braves Photo by Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

A four-run seventh helped propel the Atlanta Braves to a 5-2 come-from-behind win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. With the win, the Braves become the first team to officially punch their ticket to the postseason.

The Braves turned to Allan Winans for the start Sunday and he didn’t disappoint. He allowed a two-out single to Ke’Bryan Hayes in the first and then retired seven straight before Bryan Reynolds singled to lead off the fourth. He retired the side in order in the fifth before the Pirates finally scratched across a run.

Ji Hwan Bae singled with one out and then came all the way around to score on a double to right by Reynolds. After a line out by Hayes, Jack Suwinski doubled home Reynolds to extend the deficit to 2-0.

Luis Ortiz held the Braves’ offense in check for the first five innings. Ronald Acuña Jr. walked to begin the inning, but was erased on a ground out by Ozzie Albies. Austin Riley singled to left to put runners at first and second. Ortiz was replaced by Ryan Borucki who immediately threw a wild pitch allowing both runners to move up 90 feet. Matt Olson scored Albies with a ground out to make it 2-1.

Joshua Palacios tripled off of Winans to start the seventh. Winans got Jared Triolo to ground out to Riley for the first out and then gave way to Brad Hand. Pinch-hitter Connor Joe flew out to Michael Harris in shallow center for the second out and Jason Delay popped out on the infield to strand the runner at third.

It was a great outing for Winans who allowed six hits, two runs and struck out eight over 6 1/3 innings.

The Braves took control of the game in the seventh against Colin Selby. Selby retired the first two hitters, but then walked Arcia. Harris singled to put runners at first and second. Acuña followed with a sharp liner to center that scored Arcia and Harris to put Atlanta in front 3-2.

The rally would not end there. Albies singled to right to put runners at the corners. Albies stole second and Austin Riley walked to load the bases. Olson provided some insurance with a single to right that scored Acuña and Albies to push the lead to 5-2.

Those would be the final runs of the game as A.J. Minter and Raisel Iglesias would close things out for the Braves over the final two innings. Minter would absolutely dominate in his inning of work as he struck-out the side in order while Iglesias would only allow one hit in the ninth to clinch the series for the Braves with a final score of 5-2.

With the win, the Braves improve to 93-49 on the season. With the Phillies’ loss to the Marlins, Atlanta’s magic number to clinch the NL East is down to six. The Braves will hit the road to Philadelphia for a four-game series that will begin with a doubleheader on Monday.

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