After watching the Pittsburgh Pirates ' lineup show some spark, A.J. Burnett is hoping for similar hitting from his teammates when on the mound.
The Pirates (35-22) had scored one run in three games before a 5-4 win in 11 innings against Cincinnati on Sunday. Pittsburgh went 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position in that victory, including Travis Snider 's game-winning single, after going 0 for 10 in back-to-back shutout losses to the Reds."I haven't been getting many big hits lately and I put everything I had into that swing," said Garrett Jones , whose eighth-inning homer tied the game. "It felt pretty good. I wasn't expecting to hit the ball in the river, which was pretty cool, but it was great to come through and give us a chance to win."
Burnett (3-5, 2.72 ERA) is hoping to see the Pirates duplicate that effort while helping him end a five-game winless stretch. The right-hander has gone 0-3 with a 2.91 ERA in that span and has been given just six runs of support.
Burnett has had similar issues when facing Atlanta (34-22). He's 1-6 with a 3.62 ERA in his last 10 matchups and has been given a combined 10 runs of support.
Burnett is 0-6 with a 4.44 ERA in his last nine starts in Atlanta and 1-8 with a 4.88 ERA in 12 career games there. He's received three runs or fewer in each of those starts.
In this one, he'll pitch opposite Medlen (1-6, 3.48), who is 0-5 with a 3.93 ERA since a 3-2 win over Miami on April 9. The right-hander has gotten a combined 15 runs in those nine starts and three runs in his last four.
Medlen took the loss in a 3-0 defeat to Toronto on Wednesday despite leaving after two innings. He suffered a bruised calf when he took a line drive off his left leg.
"I've been hit by a lot of balls in my life. That's one of the harder ones I've felt," he said. "I knew right away (that he'd have to leave the game), but I at least wanted get through the inning."
Medlen is 1-1 with a 4.08 ERA in three career starts against the Pirates and suffered the loss in his only matchup this season. He gave up three runs over six innings in a 4-2 defeat April 21, the finale of a four-game series in Pittsburgh.
The Braves dropped the final three games in that set, but it appears the Upton brothers might be ready to help Atlanta try to win this series.
B.J. Upton, batting just .156 with five home runs this season, hit a solo homer in a 6-3 win over Washington on Sunday after going 2 for 4 and driving in the winning run in a 2-1 victory in 10 innings the previous day.
"Good for him," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "His at-bats keep getting better and better and better. That's the B.J. Upton that we want to see. It's good that he's coming along.
"Hopefully he'll run off 10 or 12 games like this."
Justin Upton had three hits in Sunday's win after going 1 for 20 in his previous five games. He's 2 for 2 with a solo homer lifetime against Burnett, but B.J. Upton is 9 for 44 (.205) with 17 strikeouts.
The Braves and Pirates have split their last two series in Atlanta, both four-game sets.
|June 03, 2013||Jeanmar Gomez||15-Day DL||Right forearm tightness|
|May 28, 2013||Jose Contreras||15-Day DL||Lower back inflammation|
|May 25, 2013||Jose Tabata||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique - out 3-4 weeks|
|May 19, 2013||Andrew McCutchen||Day-to-Day||Sore right knee|
|May 15, 2013||John McDonald||15-Day DL||Lower back discomfort|
|May 01, 2013||James McDonald||15-Day DL||Right shoulder discomfort|
|May 29, 2013||Kris Medlen||Day-to-Day||Left game - left upper calf contusion|
|May 18, 2013||Eric O'Flaherty||15-Day DL||Left elbow surgery - out for season|
|May 13, 2013||B.J. Upton||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left shoulder contusion|
|May 12, 2013||Jordan Walden||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|May 12, 2013||Jordan Walden||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|May 05, 2013||Juan Francisco||Day-to-Day||Sprained right ankle|
ATLANTA (AP) -- Kris Medlen stuck to his game plan through the longest losing streak of his career: Keep games close and give Atlanta's powerful offense a chance to come through.
Finally, the lineup showed up in a big way on Monday night.
Brian McCann , Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman each hit a two-run homer, leading Medlen and the Braves to a 7-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates .
Medlen (2-6) pitched seven solid innings for his first win since April 9, ending a career-worst, five-game skid over his previous nine starts. The right-hander allowed an unearned run and seven hits, lowering his ERA to 3.14.
Medlen didn't have to be reminded that he had to wait almost two months for his second win.
"It's been a while, yeah," he said.
"I always try to keep our team in the game. However many runs we're scoring or however many runs I'm giving up, I always try to keep it as close as I can. With our offense, we're an explosive-style offense as you saw today. Keep them close and we can win a game with a two- or three-run home run."
Medlen was 10-1 with a 1.57 ERA in 2012, when he began the season in the bullpen before moving to the rotation and posting a 9-0 record in 12 starts.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Minor "got some run support - finally."
Heyward, who was held out of the lineup on Sunday, had two hits. He began the day with a .142 batting average and snapped a 0-for-19 slump with his first-inning single.
"Maybe that will get him going and get him back to the real Jason Heyward that we like," Gonzalez said.
Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin and manager Clint Hurdle were ejected by home plate umpire Dan Iassogna in the fourth inning.
A.J. Burnett (3-6) yielded a season-high six runs in five innings. He allowed eight hits, including three homers, and walked three.
The three homers allowed matched Burnett's career high. He last allowed three homers in a 6-5 loss to Tampa Bay on May 16, 2011.
Pittsburgh scored its only run against Medlen when Gaby Sanchez 's ground-rule double in the third drove in Neil Walker , who was hit by a pitch. Walker advanced to second on a throwing error by center fielder B.J. Upton.
McCann connected for his seventh homer in the fourth. Chris Johnson then doubled and was at second when Medlen's two-out at-bat featured a couple of testy exchanges between Iassogna and the Pirates.
Burnett complained about the ball one call to Medlen, and Iassogna stepped in front of the plate to warn the pitcher.
After the second ball was called, Martin apparently complained as he took a couple of steps toward the mound with his back to the umpire. Martin was then thrown out by Iassogna, and the catcher turned to protest.
Hurdle charged from the dugout to take over the argument and also was thrown out.
Martin said he cursed after the second ball but said the profanity was not directed at Iassogna.
"I was frustrated and I got up and that's it," Martin said. "That's all that happened. That's exactly what happened. And he threw me out for that."
Martin said he thought the quick ejection was an emotional reaction by Iassogna. Hurdle said for Martin "to get tossed walking away from the umpire, never turning his head, never saying anything, was disappointing."
Michael McKenry replaced Martin behind the plate.
Heyward and Freeman homered during a string of fourth straight hits to open the fifth. Burnett said he fell behind in too many counts.
"I was making pitches early but that last inning I wasn't able to make pitches," Burnett said. "I got behind hitters. That's a good-swinging team and you can't get behind them. Especially throwing cookies in there when you do get behind them.
"It was once of those nights where I wasn't able to get ahead later in the game."
Justin Upton singled off Mike Zagurski in the seventh, moved to third on McCann's single and scored on Johnson's fly ball to left field. The single was McCann's 1,000th career hit.
Fans responded to the announcement of the milestone with an ovation for McCann, who tipped his helmet while standing on first base.
"It's a cool moment," McCann said.
The Pirates recalled right-hander Jared Hughes and selected the contract of right-hander Ryan Reid from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game.
Hughes gave up one hit in a scoreless sixth inning. Reid made his major league debut when he induced a bases-loaded grounder from pinch hitter Reed Johnson for the final out of the seventh. Reid also pitched a perfect eighth.
Clint Barmes ' double with two outs in the ninth off Braves rookie Alex Wood drove in Gaby Sanchez , who led off with a single.
NOTES: The Pirates gave OF Andrew McCutchen a day off. ... Pittsburgh RHP Jeanmar Gomez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an inflamed and strained right forearm. OF Alex Presley was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. ... Braves 3B Juan Francisco , who was designated for assignment last week, was traded to Milwaukee Brewers for minor league LHP Tom Keeling, who was assigned to Double-A Mississippi. ... Braves RHP Brandon Beachy gave up six hits and three runs in five innings for Double-A Mississippi at Chattanooga as he continued his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery. ... Atlanta's Mike Minor will face Pittsburgh's Jeff Locke in a matchup of left-handers on Tuesday night.