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Pirates Fall 8-1 to Braves After Losing Starting Battery

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Martin Perez, Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Not only did the Pittsburgh Pirates lose 8-1 to the Atlanta Braves at PNC Park on Sunday afternoon, but they lost their starting battery due to injuries.

Starting pitcher Martín Pérez exited the game after only three innings and Joey Bart left the game after the first.

Pérez injured his groin while running to cover first base on a grounder in the third inning but was able to finish the inning. However, he was replaced by Carmen Mlodzinski in the top of the fourth.

Bart, meanwhile, was replaced by Yasmani Grandal when the Pirates took the field in the top of the second. The Pirates (25-29) announced that Bart was removed from the game due to an injury to his left thumb. 

Both players are being examined by the Pirates’ medical staff.

It was Grandal who opened the game’s scoring when he drove in a run with a base hit in the bottom of the second, but the Pirates’ lead didn’t last.

The Braves (30-20) tied the game 1-1 in the top of the third on an Ozzie Albies run-scoring double off of Pérez.

Atlanta struck for three runs in two innings against Mlodzinski (0-2). Travis d’Arnaud greeted the Pirates’ reliever with a double and scored on Orlando Arcia’s sacrifice fly. In the fifth, Matt Olson plated a pair with a double off the Clemente Wall in right.

Olson reached the Allegheny River with a solo home run to right off of Aroldis Chapman in the eighth. Olson finished a triple shy of the cycle. Two batters later, Adam Duvall connected on a solo homer off of Chapman to push Atlanta’s lead to 6-1. 

Albies added an insurance run for the Braves in the ninth with an RBI-single to right off of Kyle Nicolas. d’Arnaud tacked on another with a sac fly to right-center, though Michael A. Taylor made a terrific catch to prevent another run from scoring.

Chris Sale entered play having not allowed a run over his last three starts. Though the Pirates ended his scoreless-innings streak at 21, the left-hander continued his dominance.

Sale (8-1) went seven innings and allowed the one run on four hits and one walk. He struck out eight Pirates. 

Up Next

The Pirates are off on Monday before heading to Detroit before a brief two-game series on Tuesday. Jared Jones (3-4, 3.05 ERA) will pitch for Pittsburgh. Tarik Skubal (6-1, 2.25 ERA) will start for the Tigers. First pitch: 6:40 ET.

Noteworthy

  • For the Braves, Ronald Acuña Jr. left the game in the top of the first inning with left knee soreness after falling to the ground between second and third base on an apparent delayed steal attempt.

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