MLB: Backed by Braves’ bats, Chris Sale stifles Pirates

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Chris Sale was stellar through seven innings to help the Atlanta Braves avoid a three-game sweep with an 8-1 win over the host Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

Sale (8-1) allowed one run on four hits and struck out eight. He walked one.

Jarred Kelenic, who entered the game in the bottom of the first after Ronald Acuna Jr. exited in the top half of the frame due to left knee soreness, went 3-for-4, scoring three runs. Matt Olson was 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs.

Pirates reliever Carmen Mlodzinski (0-2) allowed three runs on three hits in two innings. He came in for starter Martin Perez, who exited the game after three innings with a left groin injury. Perez allowed one run on four hits, with two strikeouts and two walks.

Olson led off the eighth with a 420-foot solo shot that splashed into the Allegheny River to push the Braves’ lead to 5-1, and Adam Duvall added a one-out solo home run to left-center field.

In the ninth, Kelenic hit a leadoff double and scored on an Ozzie Albies single to right field to make it 7-1. Albies scored on Travis d’Arnaud’s sacrifice fly for an 8-1 lead.

Atlanta took its first lead of the series in the fourth.

d’Arnaud doubled to right field to open the inning and went to third when Duvall flied out. Orlando Arcia then followed with a sacrifice fly to score d’Arnaud and give the Braves a 2-1 edge.

In the fifth, Kelenic hit a ground-ball single to right field and advanced to second when Albies drew a walk. With two outs, Olson doubled off the right field wall, driving in Kelenic and Albies to make it 4-1.

The Pirates opened the scoring in the second.

Edward Olivares led off the inning with a line-drive double to left field and advanced to third on a groundout by Jared Triolo. Yasmani Grandal, who replaced starting catcher Joey Bart due to a thumb injury, then singled to left to score Olivares for a 1-0 lead.

Pittsburgh second baseman Nick Gonzales went 0-for-4, snapping his six-game hitting streak.

–Field Level Media

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