Game Recap: Pirates Annihilated by Braves

The Pirates failed in yet another attempt to pick up their first series sweep of the season, getting torched by Atlanta, 14-3.  They got an early lead, but then their season-long inability to hit with runners in scoring position set in and the bullpen turned the game into a dumpster fire.

The Braves got a first-inning run off Wil Crowe on a two-out double by Ozzie Albies and a single by Austin Riley.  The Pirates went ahead 3-1, though, on a three-run blast by Jacob Stallings, his sixth home run of the year.  It followed a single by Adam Frazier, a double by Ke’Bryan Hayes and a fielder’s choice.

And that was the last the offense managed to produce.  It wasn’t for lack of runners.  The Pirates had 14 hits and four walks, but went 2-for-16 with RISP, and one of the hits didn’t produce a run.  They stranded 14 runners.  John Nogowski had four hits, but didn’t score or knock in a run.  The whole game was a series of missed chances, as the Pirates left at least one runner in scoring position in all but three innings.

Crowe got hit some, but managed to make it until two out in the fifth with the lead.  The score by then was 3-2, due to a third-inning home run by Ronald Acuna, Jr.  Crowe left with two on and two out, and Clay Holmes fanned Orlando Arcia.

Holmes left for a pinch hitter and Derek Shelton went with Kyle Crick.  The strike zone has been a serious problem for Crick and this game was no different.  He walked the first two hitters, prompting Shelton to . . . do nothing.  The Braves gifted Crick an out with a sacrifice, but a single put them ahead, 4-3.  Another single finally got Crick out of the game, but Chasen Shreve wasn’t any better.  He walked two to force in a run, then gave up a two-run single to make it 7-3.

Kyle Keller managed a scoreless seventh despite two walks.  Keller left for a pinch hitter, bringing on Duane Underwood, Jr.  Shelton left him in to get blasted for seven runs on eight, half of them for extra bases.

Nogowski pitched the ninth, getting through it in three batters with the help of a double play.  Frazier and Hayes each had two hits.