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ATLANTA -- A night that started off with an early lead for Chuck James and the Atlanta Braves turned into yet another forgettable road loss. The Pittsburgh Pirates would answer with five runs over the next eight frames to beat Atlanta 5-2 on Saturday.
When Mark Teixeira connected for a first inning homer to give the Braves a 2-0 lead, it seemed as though the tide might be turning for Atlanta on the road.
Teixeira entered the game hitting just .196 against lefties, whom the Braves have seen more than their fair share of this season. His blast seemed a harbinger of good things to come. It was not to be on this night, however.
After giving up the Teixeira homer, Pirates starter Tom Gorzelanny (3-3) did not allow the Braves any further scoring damage. Gorzelanny evened his record as he won his second straight decision by striking out four and allowing just two runs on seven hits and a pair of walks.
It was not that the Braves did not have opportunities to push runs across. Costly double plays kept the Braves off the boards in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
The Braves have struggled mightely on the road this season. While their 14-4 mark at home ranks as the best in the game, Atlanta's 4-13 record in games played away from Turner Field constitutes the lowest such win total in all of Major League Baseball.
James (2-2) made several mistakes by leaving the ball high in the zone for Pittsburgh batters. A 2-run fourth inning homer off the bat of Jason Bay gave the Pirates the lead for good. On the night, James threw six innings and allow five runs on five hits and four walks. His seven strikeouts represent a season-high.
Pirates catcher Ronny Paulino drove home the other three runs, with two coming on a double in the sixth inning that padded the lead to 5-2.
Recently acquired Jason Michaels played the part of ignitor for the Pirates offensive, collecting three hits and scoring twice while batting in the third spot. The Cleveland Indians designated Michaels for assigment on Tuesday, prompting the Pirates to take a shot on the 32-year old veteran outfielder.
Both clubs came into the series playing good baseball. By taking the first two of a four-game series, the Pirates have now five in a row for the first time this season. For Atlanta, the two losses come on the heels of a six-game win streak at home.
On Deck: Atlanta will send Jair Jurrjens to the mound in search of their first win in the series and his fifth of the season. The Pirates will counter with lefty Zach Duke. Game time is set for 1:35 PM EST.