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Home Runs From Cruz, Tellez Lift Pirates to 4-2 Win Over Braves

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Oneil Cruz, Pittsburgh Pirates

After scoring just one run in each of the first two games of the series, the Pittsburgh Pirates finally struck thanks to home runs from Oneil Cruz and Rowdy Tellez in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

The two homers and a solid start from Bailey Falter lifted the Pirates (40-43) to a 4-2 win over the Braves (46-36) at Truist Park to salvage the series. 

With the Pirates trailing by a run, Cruz connected on a gargantuan two-run blast with two outs off of Braves starter Spencer Schwellenbach (1-4). The ball left Cruz’s bat at 117.3 mph and traveled 459 feet.

Cruz was one of two Pirates with multiple hits. Nick Gonzales finished 2 for 4 with a double. 

Two batters later, Tellez wrapped a two-run homer inside the right field foul pole to extend the Pirates’ lead to 4-1. 

The Braves went ahead 1-0 against Falter (4-6) in the fourth inning. With runners on the corners and nobody out, Austin Riley bounced into a double play which allowed Marcell Ozuna to score from third.

Despite come control issues, Falter held Atlanta to one run in five innings pitched. He allowed a pair of hits, walked four and struck out five. 

Kyle Nicolas, Carmen Mlodzinski combined for three innings of scoreless relief. Aroldis Chapman allowed a run on an Orlando Arcia sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth bot recorded his third save of the season. 

Bryan Reynolds went 0 for 4. His career-long hitting streak ends at 25 games.

Up Next

The Pirates are off on Monday before returning to PNC Park to face the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night. Mitch Keller (9-4, 3.20 ERA) will match up against veteran Kyle Gibson (5-3, 3.70 ERA).

News and Notes

  • The Pirates activated Joey Bart from the 10-day injured list and optioned Jason Delay to Triple-A Indianapolis.
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