Late-inning rally falls short as the Atlanta Braves fall in Pittsburgh to split series

The Atlanta Braves got off to a strong start but continued pitching woes led to the team losing the final game of their series with the Pirates.
Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates
Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages

Despite 12 hits and an early 4-0 lead, the Atlanta Braves fell short of taking the series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-5.

The loss drops Atlanta to 72-41, while the Pirates are now 52-63.

The afternoon started on a high note with the Braves offense doing what the Braves offense has done all year: score runs, and score early. Atlanta got on the board in the first inning with Austin Riley dropping a single into left to score Ozzie Albies. One inning later, Orlando Arcia hit a solo home run to double the early lead.

Another home run via Matt Olson in the third inning gave the Braves a 3-0 lead, his 40th of the season. He's now tied with Shohei Ohtani for the major league lead and set a new career-high for himself. Marcell Ozuna would double off the wall in center a few batters later to extend the Atlanta lead to 4-0.

After two shutout innings to open the game, Bryce Elder ran into trouble in the 3rd after a single, hit by pitch, and walk that loaded the bases for Ke'Bryan Hayes. The Pirates third baseman almost cleared the bases with a 100 MPH single to left that scored two runs. Alfonso Rivas followed that up with a sacrifice fly to trim the score to 4-3.

Both teams traded scoreless innings before the 6th inning, where Elder came back out to face the bottom half of the Pittsburgh order. He would leave the game after a Jack Suwinski double put runners on 2nd and 3rd with no out. Joe Jimenez came up to try and keep the runners at bay, but Liover Peguero dropped a fastball right down the middle into center to tie the game with an RBI single. Jason Delay scored Suwinski with a grounder to third to give the Pirates a 5-4 lead.

Hayes added to his impressive offense this series with an RBI triple in the 7th to extend Pittsburgh's lead. He only appeared in three of the four games this series but still finished with seven hits and nine RBIs against Atlanta. He crossed home a few batters later with Peguero hitting another RBI single to make it 7-4.

Never out of any game, the Braves strung together back to back singles in the 9th to trim the deficit to two runs, with Ronald Acuña Jr. singling home Michael Harris II. Collin Holderman then set down the remaining Braves in order to end the day, striking out Albies, Riley, and Olson in succession.

Atlanta still holds a solid lead in the NL East, as they prepare for a return to divisional play this weekend with a three-game series on tap against the New York Mets.