for this game

Pitching pushes Pirates past Braves

Jul 26, 2011 - 5:13 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - James McDonald combined with four other pitchers to help the Pittsburgh Pirates take a 3-1 win over the Atlanta Braves in the opener of a four-game set.

McDonald (7-4) lasted just 5 1/3 innings as he had given up eight hits and struck out nine, but Chris Resop, Daniel McCutchen, Jose Veras and Joel Hanrahan combined to give up just a solo home run to Chipper Jones along with a walk over the next 3 2/3 innings.

"It's really big to come in here and take the first one against a really good team," said McDonald. "To get a win right away is big for the team."

Andrew McCutchen went 1-for-2 with an RBI, run scored and two walks while Ronny Cedeno and Michael McKenry each drove in a run for the Pirates, who have won their past two games.

The Pirates remain in a virtual tie with the Cardinals for first place in the NL Central as St. Louis downed Houston on Monday.

Jones was activated off the disabled list earlier in the day as he had been on there since July 9 with a torn meniscus in his right knee.

However, he wasn't able to help Atlanta gain any ground on Philadelphia for first place in the NL East.

Coming into the day, the Phillies held a six-game lead for the top spot and had dropped a contest to San Diego earlier in the day, but the Braves were unable to gain any ground as they dropped their third straight.

Tim Hudson (9-7) had won his past four decisions, but was handed the loss for giving up three runs on five hits with three walks and eight strikeouts over seven innings of work.

"They're a good club over there and they're not in first place by accident," said Hudson. "They made their hits count tonight and they got the big hits when they had the chances to score, and we didn't get any big hits."

The game was delayed two hours and two minutes at the start due to rain.

The Pirates got a pair of runs in the second to take the lead. McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez each walked and a fly out by Lyle Overbay moved both runners up a base. Cedeno then groundedout to scored a run and McKenry followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.

The Braves, who went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine, had men on base in each of the first four innings, but were unable to take advantage.

The sixth saw McCutchen single home Garrett Jones for a 3-0 lead and the Braves left the bases loaded in the sixth as Resop got Nate McLouth and Alex Gonzalez to end the frame.

Chipper Jones led off the eighth with his ninth home run of the year, but Hanrahan set the Braves down in order in the ninth for his 29th save of the year.

Game Notes

To make room on the roster for Jones, Atlanta optioned outfielder Wilkin Ramirez to Triple-A Gwinnett...The Pirates placed outfielder Alex Presley on the 15-day disabled list with a left thumb contusion. To take his place, the team recalled infielder Pedro Alvarez from Triple-A Indianapolis...McDonald has gone 4-0 over his last eight decisions...Chipper Jones left the game after his home run with a strained right quad and is day-to-day...Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla went 1-for-4 in the game to extend his hitting streak to 16 games, but he is still batting just .195 on the season...The Pirates are 47-0 when leading after eight innings this season.

    ATLANTA: 1

    Jul 26 12:33 AM

  • Chipper Jones lead-off Home Run (9) to right. Freddie Freeman due up.

    Pirates 3, Braves 1  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 26 12:00 AM

  • Andrew McCutchen single to center scored Garrett Jones with two out. On the play, Andrew McCutchen advances to second on Nate McLouth's fielding error. Runner on second with Pedro Alvarez due up.

    Pirates 3, Braves 0  Top 6, 2 OutsJul 25 10:59 PM
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    Pirates 2, Braves 0  Mid 4Jul 25 10:20 PM

  • Michael McKenry single to left scored Pedro Alvarez with two out. On the play, Michael McKentry advanced to second. Runner on second and James McDonald due up.

    Pirates 2, Braves 0  Top 2, 2 OutsJul 25 9:37 PM

  • Ronny Cedeno ground out short to first scored Andrew McCutchen with two out. Runner on second and Michael McKenry due up.

    Pirates 1, Braves 0  Top 2, 2 OutsJul 25 9:35 PM

    ATLANTA: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Jul 25 9:13 PM
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    Pirates vs. BravesJul 25 7:59 PM
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    Pirates vs. BravesJul 25 12:46 PM
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    Pirates vs. BravesMay 26 6:01 AM