Pirates chase Strider early and defeat the Braves

The Pittsburgh Pirates chased Spencer Strider early before holding off the Atlanta Braves in a rain-delayed 7-6 victory Monday night. Rookie infielder Liover Peguero had two hits in a six-run third inning.

Connor Joe homered in the fourth inning to help the Pirates defeat the major league-leading Braves for the third time in a row. Pittsburgh snapped an eight-game losing run to Atlanta, which had lasted since 2021.

Strider (12-4), who finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting last season, matched a career low with 2 2/3 innings pitched. He also barely lasted 2 2/3 innings the day before against the New York Mets a year ago.

Strider has won eight of his previous twelve starts. He gave up five hits, three walks, and three strikeouts.

“You’re going to have bad starts from time to time,” Strider said. “But you can’t have a bad start to this level.”

Carmen Mlodzinski (2-2) earned the win by retiring all four batters he faced.

The Braves cut the lead to 7-6 in the ninth on a leadoff double by Michael Harris II and a groundout by Ozzie Albies, but closer David Bednar held on for his 23rd save in 25 chances.

“We’ve been right there the last three games.” “We’ve been a hit away, but it’s difficult to come from behind,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “We brought the tying or winning run to the plate each of the last three days, but we didn’t make it happen.”

Atlanta’s Matt Olson had two hits and two RBIs, bringing his season total to 99. Austin Riley had two singles and Albies blasted his 26th home run.

On their route to their third win in four games, the Pirates broke a 0-0 tie with a strong third inning.

Peguero led off with a double and came around to score on Joe’s groundout. With two outs in the fifth, Andrew McCutchen hit an RBI double and scored on Henry Davis’ single before Jared Triolo delivered a two-run single. Peguero capped the rally with a run-scoring single off reliever Michael Tonkin.

“When I made good pitches, they were spoiling them or putting them in play, and then I stopped making good pitches,” Strider explained. “Perhaps I needed to be more aggressive, to go right at them.” Again, it’s easy to say in retrospect.”

A week after moving four senior players at the deadline, the Pirates were pleased to defeat the Braves and one of the game’s best young pitchers.

“It was fantastic. “That was a fantastic inning,” Triolo added. “I think it clearly helped affect the momentum of the game. Putting up early runs like that was fantastic. Running (Strider) out of there was also fantastic.”

During a four-run fourth inning that had them within 6-4 of Pirates starter Osvaldo Bido, the Braves chased him. Albies hit a solo home run with one out before Olson and Marcell Ozuna added RBI singles. Davis’ error in right field allowed the fourth run to score.

In four innings, Bido gave up four runs, three of which were earned.

Joe started the bottom half with a home run off Tonkin. The Braves tied the game 7-5 in the fifth when Olson singled.

Because of rain, the game was delayed for 78 minutes after the fifth.


Atlanta Braves: LHP Dylan Lee (shoulder irritation) will pitch for the second time on his rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday. … OF Sam Hilliard (bruised right heel) has had his rehab assignment with Gwinnett halted due to heel pain.


RHP Yonny Chirinos (5-4, 4.42 ERA) takes the mound for the Braves against Pirates RHP Mitch Keller (9-8, 4.35). Chirinos will make his third start after being acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Since pitching in the All-Star Game last month, Keller is 0-4 with a 9.97 ERA in four starts.