Duvall homers twice, Braves beat Bucs for 11th straight win

Sports

ATLANTA (AP) — Adam Duvall homered twice off José Quintana, William Contreras and Matt Olson also connected, and the Atlanta Braves won their 11th straight game, 5-3 over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

The defending World Series champion Braves began the day having trimmed five games off the New York Mets’ division lead since the winning streak started June 1. They were 5½ games back in the NL East.

This stretch is the club’s best since it won 14 in a row from July 26 to Aug. 9, 2013. During the streak, Atlanta has outscored opponents 74-30 with 22 homers. The pitching staff has a 2.32 ERA over the same span.

Pittsburgh has lost a season-high six straight games. The Pirates were swept for the fifth time this season.

Atlanta went back-to-back in the second when Contreras hit the left-field foul pole for his ninth homer and Duvall connected to left to make it 2-0.

Olson hit his eighth homer in the eighth, pushing the lead to 5-3 against Chase De Jong.

Pittsburgh pulled within 2-1 in the third on Bryan Reynolds’ sacrifice fly. Reynolds’ two-run homer off Kyle Wright, his former Vanderbilt teammate and roommate, cut the lead to 4-3 in the fifth.

Reynolds has hit safely in his last seven games on the road for a .500 average with two doubles and four homers.

Contreras doubled in the fourth and crossed the plate when Duvall hit his sixth homer, an opposite-field shot to right-center, to put Atlanta up 4-1. Duvall has 11 multihomer games in his career.

Quintana (1-4) was charged with six hits and four runs in five innings and had allowed two runs or fewer in nine of his previous 11 starts. The Braves are 16-6 against lefty starters and have won their last 11 games against them.

Wright (7-3) allowed five hits and three runs with two walks and seven strikeouts in six innings. Wright, who was coming off a career-high eight innings in a win over Oakland last Tuesday, had a 1.69 ERA over his previous five starts. He ranked second in the NL with a .192 opponents’ batting average.

Will Smith faced the minimum in the seventh for Atlanta, A.J. Minter pitched to three batters in the eighth and Kenley Jansen earned his 18th save in 21 chances after facing four batters in the ninth.

The Braves have won seven straight at home against the Pirates, outscoring them 55-13. Atlanta has won the season series with Pittsburgh the last four years they have played.

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Reynolds began the day with a .376 career average in 58 June games. With a minimum of 200 June plate appearances since 1901, Reynolds’ average this month trails only Joe Jackson (.381) and Lou Gehrig (.378).

TRAINER’S ROOM

In rehab appearances Saturday with Triple-A Indianapolis, Pirates RHP Heath Hembree (right calf strain) allowed two runs and one hit in one inning, and RHP Nick Mears (elbow) struck out two in one inning.

UP NEXT

Braves RHP Ian Anderson (5-3, 4.53 ERA) is on the mound as Atlanta begins a three-game series at Washington.

Pirates RHP Mitch Keller (2-5, 5.26) will start as Pittsburgh opens a four-game series at St. Louis.

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