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Braves hand Contreras first loss

Atlanta touches Pirates’ rookie right-hander for four runs in 4-2 win

Pittsburgh Pirates v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The red-hot Atlanta Braves handed Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Roansy Contreras his first loss Friday night, touching the young right-hander for eight hits and three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings en route to their ninth straight win, a 4-2 victory over the Bucs at Truist Park.

Contreras, who entered the game with a 1.93 ERA, having given up just five earned runs, 16 hits and eight walks while striking out 26 in his first 23 1/3 innings, blanked the Braves over the first two frames.

But Atlanta touched the 22-year-old Contreras for two runs in the third on a pair of singles and Dansby Swanson’s two-run home run. A caught stealing prior to Swanson’s home run limited the damage to two runs.

Atlanta added a run in the fourth on Travis d’Arnaud’s single, an error by left fielder Travis Swaggerty and Ozzie Albies’ RBI double.

The Braves tacked on the fourth and final run off Contreras in the fifth on a walk to Michael Harris II, Swanson’s single and Matt Olson’s RBI single.

Contreras walked just the one batter and struck out seven in his 4 2/3 innings.

Braves’ starter Spencer Strider fared better, as he worked 5 2/3 scoreless innings and limited the Pirates to four hits and a walk while striking out eight.

The Pirates got to reliever Jackson Stephens for two runs in the eighth on singles by Bryan Reynolds and Daniel Vogelbach, an RBI double by Michael Chavis and Cal Mitchell’s sacrifice fly.

The Pirates finished with eight hits; rookie Tucapita Marcano, Reynolds and Chavis had two each.

Strider was making his 14th appearance but just his third start on the season. He came in with numbers that were impressive in their own right, as he carried a 2.76 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings.

Contreras was coming off a solid start on June 4, when he went 5 2/3 innings against Arizona and gave up four hits and one unearned run while striking out eight and walking two.