Gerrit Cole got touched up for 10 hits, David Freese and Clint Hurdle got ejected and the Pirates fell to the Braves, 5-2, in a frustrating game Monday night.
Ender Inciarte went 5-for-5 to lead the Atlanta attack, and the Braves got 13 hits in total.
With a run already in, Brandon Phillips cracked a solo homer off Cole to put the Braves up, 2-1, in the third.
Cole ran into more trouble in the fifth, an inning he would not finish. Two hits opened the inning and an error followed for a third Braves run. Matt Kemp hit into a double play, but Matt Adams homered deep to right. (Adams, recently acquired from the Cardinals, has also played for teams at the academic institutions Slippery Rock University and Philipsburg-Osceola High School, FYI.) Atlanta had a 5-1 lead, Cole walked the next batter and his night was done.
Cole had two strikeouts, two walks and 10 hits for five runs in 4 2-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.
The Pirates took a short-lived 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Jordy Mercer scored from second on Dansby Swanson’s wild throw to first.
Freese struck out looking on a wide pitch in the fourth. Shortly after, he said something from the dugout and was ejected. Hurdle followed suit.
The Bucs got their fake rally in the sixth, stringing three singles to start the inning. John Jaso’s hit scored Josh Bell. That chased Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz. With runners on the corners and no outs, journeyman Jason Motte fanned Francisco Cervelli and Jordy Mercer and got pinch hitter Jose Osuna to ground out.
Mercer was hit in the right hand by a grounder and later left the game.
Jhan Marinez made his Pirates debut and ate 2 2-3 innings before running into trouble in the eighth.
Jaso and Mercer each had two hits.