Josh Donaldson drove in the tie-breaking run in Atlanta’s five-run fifth inning to win his rematch with Joe Musgrove, and the Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 on Thursday to complete a four-game sweep.
The Braves have won seven straight to pass Philadelphia for the NL East lead. The Phillies and Braves open a three-game series on Friday night.
Julio Teheran (5-3) allowed two runs, one earned, in six innings. He has allowed no more than one earned run in his last eight starts.
Luke Jackson gave up Starling Marte’s run-scoring single in the ninth before recovering for his 10th save in 15 chances. Marte’s single past shortstop Dansby Swanston drove in Bryan Reynolds, who doubled and advanced to third on catcher Brian McCann’s passed ball.
The Pirates have lost seven straight after failing to hold an early 2-1 lead against Teheran in this one.
Musgrove (4-7) struck out Donaldson in the first inning. It was their first meeting since Musgrove hit Donaldson with a pitch on Monday night, igniting a confrontation that led to both players’ ejections. The short outing gave Musgrove the rare opportunity of making two starts in the same series.
Musgrove hit Swanson with a first-inning pitch, but there was no sign of leftover bad feelings from the skirmish three days earlier.
Freddie Freeman’s triple to the right-field corner in the fifth drove in Swanson to tie the game. Donaldson, who is appealing his one-game suspension for his role in the confrontation, hit a single to right off Musgrove to drive in Freeman.
Ozzie Albies added a two-run double to center field in the big inning.
The Braves’ poor outfield defense helped Pittsburgh take the lead in the fourth. Left fielder Matt Joyce lost Colin Moran’s fly ball in the sun, missing his late lunge for the ball as Moran moved to second on the error. Moran scored when Elias Díaz doubled past a diving Ronald Acuña Jr. in center field.
Musgrove faced five batters in the fifth without recording an out. He allowed six runs on nine hits and two walks.
Pittsburgh pinch-hitter Corey Dickerson and Bryan Reynolds had run-scoring doubles off Touki Toussaint in the seventh. Reynolds drove in two runs with three hits.
Braves manager Brian Snitker was ejected by home plate umpire Tripp Gibson after Gibson’s called strike three on Acuña ended the fourth inning with runners on first and second. Snitker objected to the high strike call.
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (right side strain) was to make a rehab start for Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday night. He could return to Pittsburgh’s rotation next week. … RHP Chris Stratton (right side discomfort) allowed one run in two innings in his first rehab game with Indianapolis on Tuesday night. … RHP Jordan Lyles (right side discomfort) is expected to throw in the bullpen during this weekend’s series in Miami.
Braves: OF Austin Riley did not start but was used as a pinch-hitter after he was hit by a pitch on his left hand and wrist on Wednesday night. Riley’s pinch-hit groundout ended the seventh.
Pirates: LHP Steven Brault (2-1, 5.05) will make his sixth start of the season on Friday night at Miami against RHP Trevor Richards (3-6, 3.31 ERA).
Braves: LHP Max Fried (7-3, 3.75) will face Philadelphia RHP Nick Pivetta (4-2, 4.93) in the opening game of a weekend series between the NL East leaders on Friday night.
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