That little scamp Adam Frazier had an adventurous night, including a couple big hits that helped lead the Pirates to a 5-3 victory over the Braves on Tuesday night in Atlanta.
TV host A.J. Pierzynski has apparently been catching for the Braves, and in the fourth inning he hit a chopper that Frazier, starting at second base, charged aggressively and actually deflected towards third base, allowing Ender Inciarte to score from second for the game's first run. Despite the headline, it's actually still listed as a double.
The Pirates hadn't gotten a hit off Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz to that point (I really could've stuck with that captivating marathon of The Hills reruns for a little while longer). With one out in the fifth, Foltynewicz hit Francisco Cervelli in the helmet with a breaking ball that didn't break, and Eric Fryer eventually replaced Cervelli. Frazier then worked a 13-pitch at-bat and laced a double to right, allowing Fryer to score on Jordy Mercer's subsequent groundout. Frazier aggressively took third base on the groundout, but a Gerrit Cole strikeout ended the inning.
The Braves retook the lead, 2-1, on a Nick Markakis single in the bottom of the fifth, but the Bucs broke through with four runs off the hard-throwing Foltynewicz in the sixth.
A Matt Joyce single plated John Jaso, who led off with a walk. After Starling Marte singled, Jung-Ho Kang ripped a double to left to score Joyce for a 3-2 Pirates lead. After Foltynewicz was lifted for Jose Ramirez, and Fryer struck out, Frazier drove in two runs with an opposite-field single.
Cole gave up seven hits and needed 97 pitches to get through five innings. He struck out four and walked two.
The Legion of Lethal Lefties helped get the Buccos home, with 2 2-3 innings of scoreless ball from Antonio Bastardo, Felipe Rivero and new closer Tony Watson. Bastardo re-debuted with a 1-2-3 sixth, and Rivero flashed his nasty stuff in the seventh, but got in trouble with a walk and a hit on a well-placed grounder. Neftali Feliz cleaned that up, then allowed an ultimately harmless solo homer to Markakis in the eighth before Watson nailed it down.
I'm a big fan of the comforting rituals involved in baseball, and it was kind of nice to get back into that after Monday kind of made me lose my mind. This one turned out to be a nice reminder that, the 2016 Pirates are still not all that badly situated.