Bell’s heroics aren’t enough for Pittsburgh
The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) — Rookie Austin Riley Riley tied the game with a solo homer in the ninth inning and scored the winning run on an Oscar Albies’ double off reliever Michael Feliz in the 11th, leading the Atlanta Braves past the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 for their sixth straight victory Wednesday night.
The game was marred by a 55-minute rain delay, and it didn’t finish until close to one in the morning.
The Braves (39-29) took over sole possession of first place in the NL East and moved 10 games over .500 for the first time this season.
Josh Bell hit a tiebreaking solo homer off Atlanta closer Luke Jackson in the top of the ninth. Riley, who had a two-run triple in the first, took Kyle Crick deep to make it 7-all in the bottom half.
After Riley was hit by a pitch on his left hand in the 11th, Albies drove a gapper into right-center and Riley slid headfirst across the plate to end it. Jacob Webb (4-0) pitched two innings to earn the victory. Feliz (2-3) took the loss.
Braves starter Mike Soroka allowed career highs of five runs and 10 hits in five innings. The 21-year-old began the night having given up one run or less in nine of 10 starts this season, but did not factor in the decision. Soroka, whose ERA rose 54 points to 1.92, walked one and struck out three.
Down 3-0 early, Pittsburgh made it 3-2 in the second on RBI singles by Adam Frazier and Elias Diaz and 6-4 in the fourth on Kevin Newman’s two-run double. Starling Marte’s 10th homer cut the margin to 6-5 in the fifth.
The Pirates tied it 6-all in the sixth against Josh Tomlin. Gregory Polanco had a pinch-hit single, advanced to third on Newman’s single and scored on Corey Dickerson’s sacrifice fly.
“We had our backs against the wall a little bit, but we battled back and gave ourselves a chance,” said Bell, who leads the majors with 61 RBIs. “It’s good mojo going into tomorrow.”
Mitch Keller, making his second career start for Pittsburgh, allowed six runs and 10 hits in three innings. His ERA rose 1.93 points to 15.43.
The Pirates’ director of sports medicine, Tom Tomcyzk, said catcher Francisco Cervelli, on the injured list since May 26 with a concussion, has no symptoms and is scheduled to be re-examined by a neurologist in the next couple of days. Tomcyzk said Cervelli feels normal in everyday life, but has yet to be cleared. The 33-year-old Cervelli has a long history with head injuries during his 12-year career, including six documented concussions since 2011.
— The Associated Press