Game 22: Pirates 9, Braves 3

The Pirates have broken two streaks in this four-game series against the Braves.  First, the Braves were able to have six runners cross the plate, breaking the Pirates’ MLB-record eighteen game streak of not having more than five runs to score beginning on Opening Day. Tonight, the Pirates were able to break their 21-game long streak of not having more than five runners cross the plate by scoring nine runs. The Pirates’ offense was, for once, awake.

Pedro Alvarez and Yamaico Navarro, believe it or not, both hit huge home runs, driving in four runs, which would have won the games by themselves.  Rod Barajas was the only Pirate position player without a hit in the game until the top of the eighth inning where he singled to left.  Neil Walker had three hits in the game, raising his average to .278.  Jose Tabata continued to look better, getting on base twice in the game (but striking out once).  Somehow, the Pirates struck out 12 times, or in 34.2% of their at bats, though.  Neil Walker also stole a base, somehow.

James McDonald was rock solid after allowing two runs in the first inning.  J-Mac recorded a career-high ten strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings, but he also allowed nine runners to reach base, with seven hits against him and walking two batters, while letting three earned runs scored.  Chris Resop came in to finish the game and only let one batter get a hit against him while striking out one in 1 1/3 innings.

Coming out of Atlanta with a split series is a very nice feat for the Pirates.  Their record of 10-12 is a great accomplishment and is a good sign looking forward.

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