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Braves take on Pirates, aim for 11th straight win

Sportsnaut
Jun 11, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds (10) hits a home run against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves will try to match the longest winning streak in the majors this season when they go for their 11th straight victory on Sunday against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Braves won their 10th straight on Saturday by beating the Pirates 10-4, thanks to an eight-run seventh inning. Atlanta has won six straight at home against the Pirates, outscoring them 50-10 in the process.

Atlanta has its first double-digit winning streak since 2013, when it produced 10- and 14-game winning streaks. Houston and the New York Yankees both had 11-game winning streaks earlier this season.

“Playing every day out there without giving in, that’s what we did,” said Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies, who hit his fifth career grand slam on Saturday. “We kept battling after it and never put our head down or gave up, so that’s what we’ve been doing.”

The Braves will send ascending right-hander Kyle Wright (6-3, 2.39) to the mound to face veteran Pittsburgh left-hander Jose Quintana (1-3, 3.19) in the finale of the four-game set.

Quintana is coming off a poor start against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. He allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings of a 5-3 loss. That was a rarity: Quintana has given up two or fewer earned runs in nine of his 11 starts. He has gone seven straight starts without allowing a home run, a streak that extends to April 28 against Milwaukee. He has a 2.79 ERA over his last four road starts.

“I thought the fastball was in the middle of the plate,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said after Quintana’s last start. “He didn’t have the execution on the fastball that we’ve seen out of him. The breaking stuff wasn’t as sharp. He left balls in the middle and they were able to square them up.”

Quintana is 2-1 with an 8.68 ERA in four career starts against Atlanta. He has not faced the Braves since losing a 6-5 decision in 2018 when he pitched for the Chicago Cubs.

Wright has won two straight, allowing two runs over 14 innings. He worked a career-long eight innings against Oakland in his most recent start Tuesday, when he allowed two runs and struck out seven.

“He is just continuing to grow and experience things, you know,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “It just breeds more confidence in him and his abilities and what he does. You hope that once they taste it (going deep in the game) that what they’ll want all the time is go eight and, at some point, toe the rubber to start the ninth inning. That would be awesome.”

Wright will be making his first career appearance against the Pirates.

A bright spot for Pittsburgh has been the offensive punch provided by Bryan Reynolds. The center fielder went 3-for-4 on Saturday and is 8-for-12 in the first three games of the series. Reynolds is hitting .389 (14-for-36) after his first nine games of the month. Reynolds is 20-for-43 (.465) with four doubles and two home runs in his last 11 games against the Braves.

–Field Level Media