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Pérez Struggles in Return From IL; Pirates Defeated 6-1 by Braves



Bryan Reynolds, Pittsburgh Pirates

Martín Pérez struggled in his return from the injured list and the Pittsburgh Pirates fell 6-1 to the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on Friday night. 

Pérez (1-4), who had been on the 15-day IL with a left groin strain, only lasted four innings and allowed six runs on eight hits. He walked a pair and struck out four. 

In the bottom of the second inning, Austin Riley connected on a 423-foot solo home run to straightaway center to put Atlanta ahead 1-0.

The Braves (45-35) then struck for five runs in the bottom of the third inning, starting with a bases-clearing double from Marcell Ozuna, who leads the National League in RBIs with 67.

Ozuna scored on a base hit to center from Matt Olson and Adam Duvall put Atlanta ahead 6-0 with a double to left. 

Daulton Jefferies pitched three-scoreless innings out of the bullpen in relief of Pérez.

The Pirates (39-42) were up against a familiar face in Charlie Morton, who pitched 6.1 excellent innings for the Braves.

Morton (5-4) scattered three hits in a scoreless outing, walked one and struck out seven.

Ke’Bryan Hayes snapped an 0-for-18 skid with a base hit up the middle in the fifth. Hayes was later  responsible for driving in the Pirates’ lone run of the game with a ninth-inning RBI double off of Aaron Bummer. 

It took until the eighth inning, but Bryan Reynolds extended his hitting streak to 24 games with a seeing-eye single up the middle. Reynolds finished 1 for 3 and was hit by a pitch. 

Up Next

Prized rookie Paul Skenes (4-0, 2.14 ERA) will be on the mound for the Pirates on Saturday. Left-hander Max Fried (7-3, 3.00 ERA) will start for the Braves. First pitch: 4:10 ET.

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I don’t know if pitching a game where you limit the Pirates to few runs and hits should be considered an excellent outing, after all a good pitcher pitching against this Pirates lineup a near no-hitter is to be expected.

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