ATLANTA 11, PITTSBURGH 1
Javier Vazquez pitched a third straight quality start and his offense backed him up on the strength of two three-run homers as Atlanta snapped their five-game losing streak, defeating the Pirates 11-1.
Pirates starter Zach Duke wasn't particularly sharp from the start. Jeff Francoeur hit a two-out, two-run single off of him in the first, took second on the throw and Casey Kotchman chased him home with a single. Martin Prado piled on three more runs with his first home run of the year. The line drive cleared the wall in left and gave the Braves a 6-0 lead.
David Ross extended the lead to 11-0 by lining a shot off of Pirate reliever Craig Hansen to the same part of the park. His three-run shot scored Francoeur and Kotchman. Francoeur had doubled Chipper Jones home earlier to score the first run of the inning.
Vazquez took full advantage of the support. His six inning stint featured just one walk and eight punchouts. He has pitched his third straight quality start and is the only Braves starter to do that this season. Peter Moylan and Jeff Bennett threw scoreless innings and James Parr lost some control in the ninth, allowing two singles and walking a batter after getting two outs on two pitches. He plunked Ramon Vazquez, who subbed for Jack Wilson in the eighth inning, and that forced in a run. He got Nyjer Morgan to line out to left-center to end the game, though.
It's nice to have the Braves pound an opponent every now and then. It's even nicer that they snapped their skid. Hopefully, the trend continues against the Nationals.
W - Javier Vazquez (1-1)
L - Zach Duke (2-1)
HR - Martin Prado (1)
David Ross (1)
P Javier Vazquez, Atlanta - 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO
2B Martin Prado, Atlanta - 2-4, 2B, HR, R, BB, 3 RBI
C David Ross, Atlanta - 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, BB, 3 RBI
RF Jeff Francoeur, Atlanta - 2-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI
AP Photo by Gene J. Puskar
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