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Pirates fall apart late in 11-3 loss to Braves

Bryan Reynolds and Jack Suwinski homered, but the Bucco bullpen faltered

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Pittsburgh Pirates Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves were locked in a close battle when the bottom fell out for the Buccos. Pittsburgh relievers gave up five runs in the sixth and four runs in the ninth that broke open a tight game to give Atlanta an 11-3 victory.

Mitch Keller got the start, and though he’s been pretty good so far this spring, he was less so on Sunday, giving up two runs on four innings pitched with a walk and four strikeouts, including giving up a solo shot to Michael Harris II in the first inning.

The Bucs battled back in the middle innings, getting a solo homer by Bryan Reynolds and a two-run shot by Jack Suwinski that gave them a 3-2 lead after the fifth.

But the Pittsburgh pen just couldn’t hold it down, with Angel Perdomo and Yohan Ramirez giving up five earned runs, two walks and a homer in just a single inning combined, while Tyler Samaniego gave up another four runs in the ninth for your final tally.

The only good news is that Ramirez is the only one of the three likely to see any real time with the Buccos this year, but the bullpen might be a big issue this season for the Pirates. Where are the good innings going to come from?

It’s good to see Reynolds looking in like he’s about to catch a groove with his second dinger in as many days, particularly after a slow start last season and another slow start to the spring.

The Bucs fell to 4-10 in the preseason and will be off on Monday and back in action on Tuesday versus the Balitmore Orioles.