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MLB: Braves pummel Pirates to avoid sweep

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Ronald Acuna Jr. and Abraham Almonte homered Wednesday as the visiting Atlanta Braves avoided a series sweep by walloping the Pittsburgh Pirates 14-3 behind 18 hits.

Almonte also had a two-run single. Ehire Adrianza added a two-run double, Orlando Arcia a two-run single, Dansby Swanson an RBI double and Austin Riley and Jonathan Lucroy each an RBI single. The Braves scored five in the sixth inning and seven in the eighth.

Atlanta starter Drew Smyly (7-3) allowed three runs and nine hits in five innings, with three walks and four strikeouts.

Jacob Stallings homered for the Pirates, who had won three straight.

Pittsburgh starter Wil Crowe gave up two runs and two hits in 5 2/3 innings, with two walks and two strikeouts.

Kyle Crick (1-1) allowed four runs on two hits and two walks while getting one out in the sixth.

Atlanta second baseman Ozzie Albies left in the sixth because of neck tightness.

In the first, Albies doubled and scored on Riley’s base hit for a 1-0 Braves lead.

In the bottom of the first, Adam Frazier singled and Ke’Bryan Hayes doubled. Jacob Stallings homered to right-center, his sixth of the year, to put Pittsburgh in front 3-1.

Acuna Jr. opened the third with an estimated 444-foot blast to left, his 24th homer, to pull Atlanta to within 3-2.

Crick entered in the sixth and walked Swanson and Guillermo Heredia. Lucroy bunted them over, and Almonte’s pinch-hit single gave the Braves a 4-3 lead.

Acuna Jr. singled, chasing Crick for Chasen Shreve. Shreve got Freddie Freeman to fly out but walked the next two batters, pinch-hitter Adrianza and Riley, to load the bases and then force in a fifth run. Arcia followed with a two-run single to push it to 7-3.

A one-hour, 18-minute rain delay paused the contest in the seventh.

In the eighth, Ender Inciarte drove a pinch-hit double to right and benefitted from a fielding error by right fielder Wilmer Difo that scored Adrianza. Swanson’s RBI double, Lucroy’s RBI single, Almonte’s two-run homer to right (his second) and Adrianza’s two-run double made it 14-3.

Pittsburgh first baseman John Nogowski, who had four hits, pitched a scoreless ninth.

–Field Level Media

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