Pittsburgh Pirates walk off Braves in extras, win 3-2
The Pittsburgh Pirates found a way to defeat the Atlanta Braves in extra innings Friday night and secure a 3-2 victory. Francisco Liriano threw seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks. Jared Hughes and Mark Melancon combined to pitch three scoreless innings in relief.
Opposite Liriano on the mound was Williams Perez, pitching in his debut season in the major leagues but facing the Pirates for the second time. Perez only last 4.2 innings after being struck in the ankle with a line drive off the bat of Josh Harrison in the fifth inning. Perez allowed two runs on four hits and two walks. Three relief pitchers combined to shutout the Pirates for 4.2 innings before former Pirate Jason Grilli came in and allowed the final run of the night.
The scoring started in the second when Liriano got himself into a jam. With the bases loaded and one out, Liriano walked catcher Ryan Lavarnway on four straight pitches. Liriano would get out of the inning allowing just that one run.
The Pirates took the lead in the fifth inning on a Pedro Alvarez single, scoring Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen. The Braves would then tie the game in the sixth on a Juan Uribe solo home run. The game remained tied at two until the bottom of the 10th inning. With one out and men on first and second, Jordy Mercer hit a double off the right field wall, scoring McCutchen and giving the Pirates a 3-2 victory.
What Stood Out
Liriano had another quality start and his ERA on the season now sits at 3.21. Mark Melancon continues to thrive at the back end of the bullpen, as his ERA is down to 1.72 on the year. Andrew McCutchen had two hits as his average, now at .295, creeps ever closer to .300. Jordy Mercer had a big game, going three for five with the walk-off hit. His average now sits at .225 on the year.
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On the flip side, Gregory Polanco continues to struggle. He was 0 for three on the night, and his average dropped to .234. Every other Pirate starter besides Liriano had a hit on the night.
The Pittsburgh Pirates (41-32) face off against the Atlanta Braves (35-39) in the second game of the series on Saturday at 4:05 PM. Charlie Morton (5-1, 3.97 ERA) takes the hill for the Pirates as he looks to rebound from his atrocious last start. The Braves send out struggling Julio Teheran (5-3, 4.67 ERA) to face Morton. Teheran is having a down year after two great seasons in 2013 and 2014.
Next: Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates look to rebound vs. Atlanta Braves