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McDonald helps Pirates take another from Braves



Published: Sun, April 21, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH

James McDonald pitched six dominant inning and Gaby Sanchez hit a tiebreaking two-run home run Saturday night to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

In quite a contrast to his previous start, McDonald (2-2) struck out nine while allowing only one run on two hits. McDonald was tagged for eight runs in 12/3 innings on Monday in a loss to St. Louis.

Sanchez’s first home run of the season broke a 1-1 tie and capped a three-run sixth. Paul Maholm (3-1) carried a two-hit shutout into the inning and had not allowed a run in 251/3 innings this season.

Atlanta (13-4), which has the best record in the major leagues, lost consecutive games for the first this season. It also marked the first time the Braves lost a game in which they had scored.

The Pirates’ Starling Marte opened the decisive sixth by drawing a walk then was bunted to second by Jose Tabata. Andrew McCutchen then drove in Marte to tie it with a double off the right-field wall on a night when fans received a bobblehead doll of the All-Star center fielder.

Sanchez followed by a driving a 1-2 pitch to center field to put the Pirates ahead.

McCutchen and Sanchez each had two hits.

Jason Grilli pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to stay perfect in save opportunities at 6-for-6.

McDonald issued four walks and three came in the second inning when he allowed his only run.

Chris Johnson had two of the Braves’ four hits and hitting .467 (21-for-45) in his last 11 games.

Pittsburgh (9-8) won for the sixth time in eight games and got above .500 for the first time.

NOTES

Atlanta 2B Uggla left the game in the middle of the fourth inning with a strained left calf. . The Braves placed INF Blake DeWitt on the 15-day disabled list with a strained lower back and recalled RHP David Carpenter from Class AAA Gwinnett. . Pittsburgh C Russell Martin made the ninth start of his career at third base but first since 2008 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. . Pirates LHP Francisco Liriano (broken right upper arm), pitching for Class AA Altoona on an injury rehabilitation assignment Saturday, gave up four runs and four hits in 22/3 innings in a loss to Harrisburg in the Eastern League.


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