After coming off a series victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, the Pirates looked to keep their momentum on Monday as they traveled Atlanta to take on the Braves. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, Atlanta’s offense was too much. A three-run fifth inning, a five-hit day for Ender Inciarte and a two-run homerun from Matt Adams lifted the Braves over the Pirates 5-2.
Gerrit Cole got the start for the Pirates, coming into the game 2-4 with a 2.48 ERA on the season.
The game started off slow, with both teams struggling to obtain any runs. The Pirates opened the scoring in the top of the third whenr Jordy Mercer scored on a single by Josh Harrison. The Braves bounced back to take the lead in the bottom of the inning. Dansby Swanson scored off a line drive single by Inciarte. The Braves took the lead the next at bat when Brandon Phillips homered off Cole to make it 2-1 Braves.
The fourth inning started the downfall for the Pirates. After being called out on strikes with a pitch outside the zone, David Freese got ejected from the game for arguing the call. Clint Hurdle, unhappy about the call, also came out to argue with the umpire and resulted in the same fate as Freese.
Cole was unable to get out of the fifth inning as the Braves put the game out of reach. Nick Markakis reached on an error by Harrison that led to an Inciarte run. After recording an out, Adams hit a two-run home run off Cole that pushed the lead to 5-1.
The Pirates tried to chip away at the Braves lead in the sixth, when John Jaso hit a line drive that drove in Josh Bell to trim the lead down to 3. The Pirates could not capitalize anymore and left two runners on base to end the inning.
Jim Johnson came in for the save in the ninth.
Cole took the loss for the Pirates, taking him to 2-5 on the season, while Mike Foltynewicz recorded his third win on the season. Jaso and Mercer each had two hits for the Pirates while Adam Frazier and Francisco Cervelli each drove in a run.
The Pirates will look to rebound from this loss when they start Game 2 of the four-game series Tuesday night in Atlanta at 7:35.