PITTSBURGH — Slumping Clint Barmes had a pair of run-scoring singles for his first two RBIs of the season, including a tiebreaking hit in the sixth inning that led the Pittsburgh Pirates over Atlanta 4-2 Sunday for their third straight win over the Braves.
Barmes began the day with an .093 batting average and was in an 0-for-14 slide.
Atlanta led 2-0 in the second when Pedro Alvarez singled and scored on Russell Martin’s double, and Barmes followed with a tying single.
Then in the sixth, Neil Walker singled leading off against Kris Medlen (1-2), advanced to third on Alvarez’s flyout and Martin’s groundout, and scored on Barmes’ single to shortstop. Andrelton Simmons gloved the ball near second but couldn’t get the throw to first in time as Barmes raised his average to .130 with a 2-for-3 day.
Luis Avilan threw a run-scoring wild pitch in the seventh.
Atlanta has lost four of five following a 12-1 start and Medlen lost for first time in 29 regular-season start in which he was given a lead. He allowed three runs and six hits in six innings with six strikeouts and one walk.
Justin Wilson (1-0) got his first major league win by giving up one hit in 1 2-3 scoreless innings. He entered with the score tied in the seventh and induced an inning-ending double-play grounder from B.J. Upton.
Jason Grilli walked his first batter in the ninth, then struck out three in a row. Grilli entered the season with five saves and is seven for seven in chances this year.
Pirates starter Jonathan Sanchez needed 74 pitches to get through three innings and allowed two runs and four hits, lowering his ERA to 11.12 from 12.96.
After going 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position in the first three games of the series, Atlanta went ahead in the second on consecutive singles by Chris Johnson, Reed Johnson, Gerald Laird and Simmons.
NOTES: Atlanta 2B Dan Uggla (strained left calf) missed the game after being injured Saturday night but hopes to f play Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Colorado. ... Braves 1B Freddie Freeman (strained right oblique) is expected to be activated from the DL Monday after a three-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett. ... Pittsburgh RHP Charlie Morton (elbow surgery) is to make his next rehab start for Double-A Altoona on Tuesday and LHP Francisco Liriano (broken bone in right upper arm) for Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday. ... LHP Mike Minor (2-1, 0.95) is scheduled to pitch for Atlanta on Monday against LHP Jeff Francis (1-1, 8.25). ... The Pirates open a four-game series at Philadelphia on Monday night with RHP A.J. Burnett (1-2, 2.63) facing RHP Tyler Cloyd, who will be called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.