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Braves defeat Pirates in 10, 5-4

Scott Cunningham

The Pirates fell the Braves on Andrelton Simmons' walk-off hit in the 10th, 5-4.

The Bucs scored first with Gaby Sanchez's homer in the second, then took a 3-0 lead in the third on a two-run double down the left-field line by Andrew McCutchen. The Braves cut the lead to 3-2 the following inning when Freddie Freeman's excuse-me swing led to a two-run double of his own.

Pedro Alvarez hit an opposite-field solo shot in the fourth to make it 4-2, but the Braves tied it in the sixth. Dan Uggla hit a two-out single, and the Bucs replaced Jeff Locke (who'd mostly pitched well, striking out seven) with newcomer Ryan Reid, who promptly missed his spot with a fastball, leading to a two-run homer to B.J. Upton. (It's disappointing to see a no-name reliever like Reid give up a big hit there, but I think Clint Hurdle's decision to bring him in against a righty was fine there, particularly given that Locke had thrown 103 pitches. It was only the sixth, and it wasn't a particularly high-leverage situation. The Pirates have to give their lesser-known guys shots in spots like this sometimes.)

The score stayed tied until the 10th. Tony Watson nearly blew the game when he walked two batters in the eighth (and then issued an intentional walk to load the bases), but he got Simmons to ground out to end it. The Bucs went to Jason Grilli in the ninth, which worked well (although Freeman just missed a walk-off homer against him), and then Mark Melancon in the 10th. Melancon uncharacteristically walked a batter and hit another, leading to Simmons' double.