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Falter Shines Again, Gonzales Leads Big Night for Pirates’ Bats in 11-5 Win Over Braves

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Nick Gonzales, Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Bailey Falter had another quality start and Nick Gonzales drove in a career-high four runs for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

Falter’s efforts and a big night from the Pirates’ offense paved the way to an 11-5 win at PNC Park. The Pirates’ 11 runs are the most they’ve scored in a game this season. 

The Pirates’ left-hander cruised through the first six innings, holding a potent Braves’ lineup scoreless until the seventh inning.

With one out in the seventh, Ronald Acuña Jr. connected on a three-run homer for the first runs of the game for the Braves (29-19). Prior to the home run, Falter (3-2) had not allowed a run in his last 20 innings pitched. 

Gonzales got the Pirates (24-28) on the board in the bottom of the first with a clutch two-out single to center to plate a pair. In the sixth, he put the Pirates up 10-0 with a two-run double the other way.

Through 14 games since he was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis, Gonzales has already driven in 13 runs. 

Gonzales wasn’t the only Pirate with a big night at the plate. Everyone in the starting nine had at least one hit with Gonzales, Andrew McCutchen, Connor Joe and Edward Olivares turning in multi-hit performances. 

Olivares drove in two runs, one on a single in the third and another on a base hit in the sixth. Yasmani Grandal drove in a pair with a third inning double.

Jared Triolo produced the loudest runs on a 408-foot home run to left-center in the fifth inning. The blast was Triolo’s third of the season.

Michael A. Taylor was responsible for the Pirates’ other run on a seventh-inning sacrifice fly. 

Luis Ortiz relieved Falter and continued the Pirates’ trend of bullpen struggles. The right-hander allowed a two-run double to Travis d’Arnaud with two outs in the eighth. Ortiz was able to shut the door in the ninth the seal the victory. 

Ray Kerr (1-1) made the first start of his career for Atlanta and allowed five runs on seven hits with six strikeouts in four innings. 

Up Next

Mitch Keller (5-3, 3.84 ERA) will pitch for the Pirates on Saturday. Reynaldo López (2-1, 1.54 ERA) will start for the Braves. First pitch: 4:05 ET.

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