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Pirates Vs. Braves Final Score: Chipper Homers In Return, Atlanta Falls 3-1

The Atlanta Braves are getting plenty of runners on base the last two weeks. Scoring those runners, though, has been a problem. And once again on Monday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Braves struggled to cash in with runners in scoring position.

Atlanta left nine runners on base and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. On the contrary, Pittsburgh left just five runners on base and went 2-for-7 with RISP. That was the difference in the game. Well, that, and James McDonald's curveball which had our hitters looking foolish all game.

Chipper Jones' solo-home run in the eighth inning was the lone run the Braves would score. The Pirates had a lead of 2-0 after just two innings on an RBI-groundout from Ronny Cedeno and RBI-single from Michael McKenry in consecutive at-bats. Andrew McCutchen drove in their third run of the game with a line drive single up the middle that skirted away from Nate McLouth in center field.

Atlanta entered the ninth trailing 3-1 and faced the Pirates All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan. Alex Gonzalez lined out sharply, Julio Lugo struck out in a pitch in the dirt and Martin Prado ended the game with a fly out to center field.

The Braves are now 4-6 in their last ten games, which is their worst mark since mid-May. Simply put, things aren't going right for Atlanta right now.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.