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Burres' contributions aren't enough

Pirates/MLB Videos

Sunday, May 30, 2010

ATLANTA -- It's rarely a good omen when a team's biggest hit is struck by a pitcher who has spent most of his career in the American League. Yet that's where the Pirates found themselves in Saturday's 6-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.

Brian Burres hit a two-run triple in the fourth inning that gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead.

"At the time, it was a big pick-me-up," he said.

It was the fourth hit in 16 career at-bats for Burres, who played for Baltimore in 2008 and '09. The previous Pirates pitcher to triple was Kip Wells on April 10, 2004, against Cincinnati.

After Burres' hit, the Pirates did not have another runner reach third the rest of the game. Ryan Doumit got to second in the sixth but was picked off.

"We had guys in scoring position and couldn't get anything out of it," manager John Russell said.

The Pirates got nine hits but also struck out 10 times, hit into three double plays and left five runners on base.

"Everyone had good at-bats," said Andrew McCutchen, who hit a solo homer in the third inning. "There were some balls that were scorched. A couple missed opportunities. A couple times we had guys at second with no outs and we weren't able to hit them in."

The Braves tied the score with two runs in the fifth. They scored the winner in the sixth off Burres (2-3) and reliever Javier Lopez, who was atypically erratic.

In the sixth, David Ross led off with a single, which brought Lopez out of the bullpen. Slinging the ball sidearm, he threw two wild pitches, then hit Nate McLouth. Two batters later, Martin Prado's fly ball scored Ross.

The Pirates blew a chance to score in the first inning off right-hander Kris Medlen (2-1). McCutchen, batting leadoff for just the third time this season, walked. The Pirates got a break when McCutchen was ruled safe on a pickoff attempt, though replays indicated McCutchen didn't touch the bag before Troy Glaus made the tag.

Neil Walker walked. Andy LaRoche bunted both runners up a base, but Garrett Jones struck out swinging at a pair of 82 mph changeups. Doumit then tapped out to second base.

Jason Heyward mashed his 10th homer in the bottom of the inning, putting Atlanta up 1-0.

In the third inning, the Turner Field crowd got McCutchen revved up. He responded with a game-tying homer.

As McCutchen waited to bat, the massive, outfield video screen showed a closeup of McCutchen and his braided hair spilling out of the back of his batting helmet. The public address system played the Aerosmith song, "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)."

"Maybe they should play that more often," McCutchen said. "Play it every day. I guess it works."

McCutchen homered -- and gave a small wave with his left hand as he rounded second. There were boos as McCutchen crossed the plate, and he put a finger to his lips to hush the crowd.

With two outs in the fourth, Lastings Milledge singled and Ronny Cedeno doubled to move him to third. Burres caught a knee-high fastball and drove it into center. When the ball bounced past McLouth and rolled to the wall, Burres headed for third base.

"I was pretty pumped," he said. "It's the first time I've run the bases that far in 10 years."

How they scored

Braves first inning (Brian Burres pitching) -- With one out, Jason Heyward hit a solo home run (No. 10) to center on a 3-1 pitch. Braves 1, Pirates 0

Pirates third (Kris Medlen pitching) -- Andrew McCutchen hit a solo homer (No. 6) to left on a 1-1 pitch. Pirates 1, Braves 1

Pirates fourth -- With two outs, Lastings Milledge singled to left. Ronny Cedeno doubled to left, Milledge to third. Burres tripled to center, Milledge and Cedeno scored. Pirates 3, Braves 1

Braves fifth -- Martin Prado singled to left. Heyward grounded out to first, Prado to second. Chipper Jones walked. Troy Glaus doubled to left, Prado and Jones scored. Pirates 3, Braves 3

Braves sixth -- David Ross singled to left. (Javier Lopez pitching) Wild pitch, Ross to second. Wild pitch, Ross to third. Nate McLouth was hit by a pitch. With one out, Prado flew out to right, sacrifice, Ross scored. Braves 4, Pirates 3

Braves eighth (Brendan Donnelly pitching) -- Melky Cabrera singled to third base. Ross bunted out to first, sacrifice, Cabrera to second. With two outs, Eric Hinske (pinch-hitting for Takashi Saito) walked. (Evan Meek pitching) Prado doubled to center, Cabrera and Hinske scored. Braves 6, Pirates 3




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