Braves Smash the Pirates 14-2 for Series Sweep

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 01: Kyle Wright #30 of the Atlanta Braves delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 01, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 01: Kyle Wright #30 of the Atlanta Braves delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 01, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Braves faced off against the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday afternoon for the series sweep.

With the Atlanta Braves recent surge bringing the team back within 2 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East race, every game becomes just as important as the last. After a big Tuesday night win, the Braves look to continue the incredible hitting they have displayed in August for the sweep.

After Max Fried’s incredible start Tuesday night, Atlanta looked to starter Kyle Wright to continue the incredible starting pitching the Braves have displayed as of late, and Wright did not disappoint.

Kyle Wright started off the game easy, retiring the first 8 batters he faced. Though Wright had a very-stress free start Wednesday afternoon, he did face trouble in the bottom of the 3rd.

After letting up his first base runner of the game via walk, rookie phenom O’Neill Cruz rifled the hardest hit ball off the year off the wall, clocking in at 122 MPH for a 2-out single. With runners on first and third, Kyle Wright made a great catch on a comeback line drive to end the inning.

Unlike the Braves pitching staff, the Pirates’ pitching staff was unable to minimize the Braves base runners. Braves got the offense going in the second inning starting with a double from Matt Olson, his first hit of the series. Catcher William Contreras followed the double with a 430-foot homerun over the center field wall.

Going into the 4th inning up 2-0, the Braves offense was not done yet. After a pair of singles from Eddie Rosario and Michael Harris II, with 2 outs, Robbie Grossman reached safely by error, which scored Eddie Rosario.

Following the Pirates error, Ronald Acuña walked, bringing up Dansby Swanson with bases loaded 2 outs. Dansby Swanson jumped on the 2nd pitch of the at bat sending a bases-clearing double to right field, though he was able to advance to third off a throwing error. Austin Riley continued the inning with his first hit of the game, a bloop hit into right field which scored Dansby Swanson, the 5th run of the inning.

On the other side, Kyle Wright continued his dominance Thursday afternoon, not allowing a single hit after the 2nd inning, striking out 8 hitters through 7 innings.

Unfortunately for the Pirates, the Braves offense did not stop attacking. Michael Harris led off the top of the 8th, followed by 3 singles coming from Robbie Grossman, Ronald Acuña (which scored Harris), and Dansby Swanson.

With bases loaded, Austin Riley was hit by a pitch, scoring Grossman and keeping the bases loaded for the 3rdtime Wednesday afternoon. Matt Olson followed with a splash into the Allegheny River for a grand slam, bringing the score to 13-0.

The Braves kept on chopping with a William Contreras single into left but was able to reach second base on the 3rd Pirates error of the game. Good teams take advantage of mistakes by other teams and that’s exactly what the Braves did Wednesday. After 2 strikeouts and the 2nd Michael Harris walk in the 8th inning, Robbie Grossman hit his 2nd single in the 8th, scoring the 14th run for the Braves, William Contreras.

Pittsburgh was finally able to end the Braves attack, but not before giving up 7 runs in the 8th inning.

Despite Kyle Wright having thrown just a little bit above 70 pitches through 7 innings, the long half innings, and large lead the Braves gave little reason to keep throwing Kyle Wright and risk injury this close to October.

Tyler Matzek was brought into relief in the 8th and did his job, maintaining the shutout and striking out a batter.

Atlanta’s offense had a relatively quiet 9th inning, totaling only 1 hit, a double from Matt Olson, his 3rd extra base hit of the game.

With no save opportunity possible considering the 14-run lead, the Braves brought in Kirby Yates to pitch the ninth, which is only his 6th pitching appearance of the year.

Pittsburgh’s offense finally got going in the 9th inning, starting with a lead-off homerun from second baseman Kevin Newman. The Pirates would eventually load the bases after a pair of hits and scored their second run of the game with a sac fly.

Unfortunately, the Pirates offensive efforts were too late as Kirby Yates was able to get the final out of the game to fly out and secure Atlanta a 14-2 victory and the series sweep.

With Wednesday’s win, the Braves record moves to 78-48 and puts them only 1.5 games behind the Mets in the NL East race.

The Braves will have an off-day Thursday before a series against the NL Central division leader, the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis. Spencer Strider is expected to face Jose Quintana in what should be an exciting start to a great series between to NL playoff teams.