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Pitching struggles as Braves lose 8-4 in fiery game

The Braves lost a spicy game against the Pirates as the offense didn’t quite do enough and the pitching faltered.

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

The Braves pitched Dylan Dodd, looking for a series win and needing innings out of the rookie.

Dodd got through the first with only a deep flyout from Bryan Reynolds for threats. The bottom of the first got spicy, as Oviedo threw well inside to Ronald Acuna, who displayed his displeasure at this, which drew an aggressive reaction from Oviedo. The benches cleared and warnings were issued before play resumed and Ronald walked, before being thrown out trying to steal second.

Austin Riley scalded through a single, but the inning did not produce any runs for Atlanta. Nothing much of note happened in the second, but in the third, a single, double, home run, single, and walk gave the Pirates a 3-0 lead, as Dodd struggled a bit.

Singles from Ronald, Ozzie, and Matt pulled back a run in the bottom of the third, sprinkled between strikeouts of Michael, Austin, and Marcell. Dodd worked around some more baserunners to keep a scoreless fourth and the Braves offense got back to work. Sean and Michael got on base in front of Ronald, who singled them home, tying the game, and put some extra spice on his celebration, given the earlier incident with the still-pitching Oviedo. Oviedo hit Austin later in the inning, which was the end of his evening by manager choice, but Snitker took exception at him not being ejected, which resulted in Snitker being ejected himself.

The Pirates’ offense returned in the fifth and ended Dylan Dodd’s evening with a leadoff double. Michael Tonkin came on in relief and gave up three singles, resulting in a Pittsburgh 6-3 lead. The Braves offense found nothing in the bottom of the fifth and the Pirates tacked on another in the top of the sixth. Matt Olson brought the run back in the home sixth, hitting a monster homer and drawing within three home runs of tying Andruw Jones’ franchise record on the night that the great centerfielder’s jersey number was retired.

The Braves threatened to do more damage after singles from Marcell and Sean, but the ump gave the Pirates’ reliever a few inches off the corner on two pitches to turn an Arcia bases-loading walk into an inning-ending strikeout. Darius Vines successfully pitched his third inning and the Braves’ offense came up empty in the eighth. Kirby Yates got the ninth and struck out the side, but allowed a homer and a double in between, putting the score at 8-4, Pittsburgh. The Braves’ offense went down quietly in the ninth, leaving the series tied going into a Sunday rubbermatch.

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