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Justin Upton homers as Braves beat Pirates

Sep 25, 2014 - 3:26 AM Atlanta, GA ( - Justin Upton smacked a two-run homer, Emilio Bonifacio singled in two runs and the Atlanta Braves showed some life with a 6-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.

Andrew McCutchen's home run provided the only offense for playoff-bound Pittsburgh, which remained 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central race with four to play. St. Louis lost to the Cubs on Wednesday.

Atlanta broke out of its recent slump by knocking around Jeff Locke (7-6) for six runs on eight hits and five walks over the first four innings. The Braves had gone 11 games without scoring more than three runs and went 1-10 during that stretch.

"Locke didn't throw the way we're used to him throwing," McCutchen said. "He just gave up a few runs and we weren't able to come back from an offensive standpoint. We're just trying to go out there and win. We weren't able to get it tonight."

The outburst provided Julio Teheran with some well deserved run support, and the right-hander even helped himself with a two-run single.

Teheran (14-13) only lasted five innings but picked up the win after giving up two runs on six hits and three walks.

"We know if we can get him comfortable he is going to be pretty good," Upton said of Teheran. "We got some early runs. He settled in. He did a great job."

The Braves loaded the bases in the second inning and got on the board when Bonifacio's inside-out swing scooted into right field.

Chris Johnson and B.J. Upton both scored on the base hit, and Atlanta pushed two more across in the third thanks to Teheran's two-out single to center.

Justin Upton took Locke deep in the fourth for Atlanta's first home run in nine games, and the 6-0 cushion was enough even against the Pirates.

Pittsburgh, which clinched at least a wild card berth on Tuesday, has posted an NL-leading 41 comeback wins this year, and McCutchen provided a glimpse of that possibility with a two-run homer in the fifth.

But that was all Pittsburgh could muster.

Craig Kimbrel was summoned from the bullpen with two on in the ninth and struck out McCutchen and Travis Snider to collect his 45th save.

Game Notes

Teheran finished with a 2.89 ERA and became the seventh Braves hurler since 2000 to make at least 30 starts and post an ERA under 3.00 ... Pirates catcher Russell Martin exited early with a tight right hamstring ... Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison extended his hitting streak to 12 games ... Thursday's finale of this four-game series has Pittsburgh's Edinson Volquez toeing the rubber against fellow righty David Hale.

    ATLANTA: 6

    Sep 24 10:28 PM
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    Pirates 2, Braves 6  Top 9, 1 OutSep 24 10:20 PM

  • Andrew McCutchen one-out, two-run Home Run (25) to left scored Starling Marte. Travis Snider due up.

    Pirates 2, Braves 6  Top 5, 1 OutSep 24 8:52 PM
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    Pirates 2, Braves 6  Top 5, 1 OutSep 24 8:52 PM

  • Justin Upton one-out, two-run Home Run (28) to left scored Freddie Freeman. Jason Heyward due up.

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  • Julio Teheran single to center scored Chris Johnson and Christian Bethancourt. On the play, B.J. Upton advances to second. Runners on first and second with two outs and Emilio Bonifacio due up.

    Pirates 0, Braves 4  Bot 3, 2 OutsSep 24 8:26 PM

  • Emilio Bonifacio single to right scored Chris Johnson and B.J. Upton. On the play, Julio Teheran advances to second. Runners on first and second with one out and Andrelton Simmons due up.

    Pirates 0, Braves 2  Bot 2, 1 OutSep 24 7:55 PM

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