The Pittsburgh Pirates survived two rallies by the Atlanta Braves, including a late rally in the bottom of the 12th inning to take an 12-11 win at Turner Field Monday night to spoil the home opener for the Braves. The two teams combined for 29 hits in the contest, which so far is the longest game played this season, time-wise at 4 hours and 28 minutes.
Atlanta committed three errors in the contest to fall to 0-2 on the 2008 season. It was the first win for new Pirates manager John Russell. Xavier Nady's three-run homer off losing pitcher Blaine Boyer broke a 9-9 tie after Atlanta evened things up in regulation with a five-run rally in the ninth. Nady would finish the night with four hits in seven at bats with seven RBI. The loss also ruined the return of left-hander Tom Glavine, who went five innings but did not get the decision for his first start as a Brave in five seasons.
Hitting stars in the contest for the Pirates were Nate McLouth (3 for 5 with 4 RBI), Freddie Sanchez (3 for 5) and Ryan Doumit (3 for 7). The Braves, losers of two in a row, were paced by shortstop Yunel Escobar (3 for 4 with 3 RBI) and newly obtained center fielder Mark Kotsay (2 for 4).