Coming off of a series opening win on Friday in Atlanta, the Bucs attempted to win their fifth straight game on the road trip, and bring their record to a season high seven games above .500. All fans held their breath as shaky starter Jeff Locke took the bump to try to bounce back from a loss in San Diego, in which he surrendered 6 ER in just four innings pitched. For the Braves, Julio Teheran got the start, trying to improve on his 4-2 record. The 24-year old Colombian, who has been susceptible to the long ball, faced a Pirates offense who has been clicking on all cylinders as of late.
For the sixth game in a row, the Pirates fell behind early on a Chris Johnson solo home run in the top of the second. The Bucs, as they have during the winning streak, quickly countered the Braves output, by tying the game in the fourth on a two run home run by Andrew McCutchen.
The Braves added a run in the bottom half of the fourth, and took the lead 3-2, after catcher Christian Bethancourt singled in Jonny Gomes who scored from second. Following three scoreless innings, the Braves then added a run on Locke in the seventh, after Cameron Maybin singled in Christian Bethancourt.
Julio Teheran settled in nicely after falling into trouble in the fourth and giving up the bomb to Cutch, by retiring 12 straight Pirates to head into the eighth. After back to back hits by Francisco Cervelli and Jorday Mercer; Gregory Polanco, el Coffee, delivered a monster base hit to tie the game at 4.
Tied in the top of the ninth, the Braves sent former Bucco favorite Jason Grilli to the mound. In a six pitch effort, Grilli retired the side and sent the game into the bottom of the ninth. Clint Hurdle then called on Vance Worley to pitch the bottom half of the inning. Leading off, Christian Bethancourt belted a first pitch fast ball from Worley into the right field stands to walk off with a victory.
This will be a hard pill to swallow for the Bucs, as they actually got a decent start out of their number five, and felt a big emotional boost from the Polanco base hit late in the game to tie the score.
Notes: The Pirates have sustained 8 walk off losses this season. They are the only team in the lead that has no had a walk off win themselves. .... The Bucs fall to seven games behind the Cards, who place the Dodgers on the West Coast tonight. Jeff Locke took the loss tonight, completing 6.1 innings, while giving up seven hits and four earned runs.