Pirates’ bats remain silent in 2-1 loss

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ronald Acuna Jr. hit another leadoff home run and Freddie Freeman had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to lift Julio Teheran and the Atlanta Braves over the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 on Wednesday night for a three-game sweep.

Acuna hit the fifth pitch out to right-center off Trevor Williams.

It was the rookie’s 21st homer and sixth leading off the first inning, including four in the last two weeks.

The NL East leaders went ahead 2-1 in the eighth when Freeman, who leads the league in hitting, sent a fly ball to deep left field off Edgar Santana. That came after Atlanta loaded the bases against Kyle Crick (2-2), who did not retire any of the three batters he faced.

Freeman’s sac fly made a winner of Teheran (9-7), who allowed one run and two hits in seven innings while striking out five and walking one. Teheran is 2-0 with a 2.93 ERA in his last five starts.

Brad Brach struck out pinch-hitter David Freese with a runner on third to end the eighth.

Jonny Venters pitched a scoreless ninth, surviving Gregory Polanco’s double off the top of the 21-foot wall in right field with two outs, to complete the three-hitter and earn his second save.

Atlanta also mustered only three hits but won for the 17th time in 25 games.

The Pirates got their run in the fifth when Colin Moran broke up Teheran’s no-hit bid with a two-out RBI single. Pittsburgh’s only other hit was a two-out single by Francisco Cervelli.

The Pirates have scored just 16 runs in their last 10 games, going 2-8.

Williams had another strong outing, permitting one run and two hits in six innings, but again was hurt by a lack of run support. Williams’ ERA is 0.97 ERA in six starts since the All-Star break, yet his record is just 3-2.

He is also 1-2 in four August starts despite a 1.44 ERA.

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