ATLANTA - Derek Lowe pitched seven solid innings and Yunel Escobar hit a two-run single in the seventh, carrying the Atlanta Braves to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.
The Braves won their third straight game - matching the season high - and were probably just glad to get it done in regulation. The teams played a 15-inning marathon the previous night that Atlanta won 7-6.
Trailing 3-2, the Braves went ahead for the first time all night when Matt Diaz started their seventh-inning rally with a single off Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf, who was replaced by Sean Burnett (1-2). The lefty gave up a bunt single to Kelly Johnson, and Gregor Blanco nearly beat out another bunt that moved the runners to second and third.
After Nate McLouth walked to load the bases, Pittsburgh called on right-hander Jesse Chavez to face Escobar. The Braves shortstop lined the very first pitch - a high fastball - to left for a single that brought home the tying and go-ahead runs without a throw.
Lowe (7-3) allowed seven hits, walked one and wound up snapping a personal two-game losing streak, after being lifted for the pinch-hitter Blanco.
Ohlendorf, facing the Braves for the first time in his young career, also had a solid game. He went six-plus innings, giving up eight hits and three runs.
Mike Gonzalez worked a 1-2-3 eighth, though he benefited from what appeared to be a blown call by first-base umpire Doug Eddings. Delwyn Young hit a grounder off the glove of Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, the ball deflecting toward Escobar at shortstop. He grabbed it barehanded, made a strong throw to first and Young was called out even though the TV replays showed he was on the bag when the ball arrived.
Young and coach Perry Hill both argued the call, and Hill was ejected by Eddings before manager John Russell could make it from the dugout. Bench coach Gary Varsho finished up at first base for the Pirates.
Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his fifth save in six tries, working around a two-out error by Jones that put the potential tying run on second.
The Pirates jumped ahead in the first on Adam LaRoche's sacrifice fly. The Braves tied it in the third, stringing together three straight hits with two outs, including Jones' run-scoring single that second baseman Young dove to stop in short right field. He didn't have enough time to get up and throw out Jones.
Pittsburgh reclaimed the lead in the fourth on Robinson Diaz's two-out, two-run double that rolled all the way to the wall in right-center.
The Braves started the sixth with three straight hits. Brian McCann's RBI single made it 3-2, but Ohlendorf got Garrett Anderson to ground into a double play and escaped further trouble.