Braves 3, Pirates 2, 10 innings, 1st game; Pirates 5, Braves 3, 2nd game
In the opener, Jones homered off Corey with one out in the 10th inning, giving the Braves a come-from-behind 3-2 victory.
“When they got me up again in the second game, I was thrilled,” Corey said. “It gave me a chance to redeem myself.”
Wilson’s home run off Shane Reynolds (11-8) capped a four-run first for the Pirates in the second game, and they hung on to stop a three-game losing streak. Reggie Sanders, who hit a go-ahead homer in the first game, added an RBI double in the first.
Corey preserved the victory in the sixth, coming in with no outs and the bases loaded, with Pittsburgh leading 4-2.
Pinch-hitter Javy Lopez lined out to shortstop for the first out, and Rafael Furcal drove in Darren Bragg with a fielder’s choice, making it 4-3. Corey walked Marcus Giles to bring Jones to the plate.
“When I walked Giles, I thought, ‘Here we go again,”’ Corey said.
After a 75 mph pitch broke over for strike two against Jones, Corey struck him out with a high fastball, ending the threat.
“He exacted some revenge,” Jones said. “He threw me one of the best curveballs I’ve ever seen, and just threw a heater right by me.”
Corey (1-2) went three innings and struck out three, and Julian Tavarez pitched the ninth for his fifth save in seven chances.
Pinch-hitter Jeff Reboulet homered in the ninth to make it 5-3. Atlanta then loaded the bases again in the ninth, but Tavarez got Matt Franco to hit into a double play, then retired Johnny Estrada on a grounder to first.
“Regardless of how we’re hitting or how we’re pitching, it seems like in the ninth inning, we always give ourselves a chance to win the game,” Braves infielder Mark DeRosa said. “It’s refreshing, because you know we’re never out of the ballgame.”
In the second game, Atlanta manager Bobby Cox sat several of his regulars, including Gary Sheffield. September callup Ryan Langerhans got the first start of his career in place of Sheffield in right, and Lopez, center fielder Andruw Jones and third baseman Vinny Castilla also got the night off.
Sheffield pinch hit for Langerhans in the sixth and drew an intentional walk that loaded the bases, then left for pinch-runner Mike Hessman. Andruw Jones struck out against Corey in the eighth as a pinch hitter.
“My team has bounced back all year,” Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon said. “We’re not big on talent, but we’re big on effort. We have the ability to bounce back.”
Reggie Sanders gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead in the first game with a homer off Horacio Ramirez in the seventh, and Atlanta tied it on a two-out single by Vinny Castilla in the eighth that scored Jones.
Then Jones won it with his homer in the 10th.
“I saw a changeup really good out of his hand,” Jones said. “I just got enough of it, from what I hear. Better to be lucky than good.”
Will Cunnane (1-1) pitched a perfect 10th, striking out the side on 11 pitches.
The ending spoiled a brilliant pitching duel between Ramirez and Oliver Perez, who lasted only 2 1-3 innings in his previous start, also against Atlanta. In that one, he walked five and allowed six runs on four hits.
Friday, he went seven strong innings, allowing six hits and a run, strikingout six.
Langerhans got his first hit with a single in the fourth of the nightcap. … Julio Franco made his first start since going on the disabled list Aug. 18 with a fractured middle finger on his left hand. … Sanders has 30 home runs this season, the second time in three seasons he’s reached that figure. … Braves RHP Darren Holmes, on the DL since May 7 with neuritis inhis pitching shoulder, threw off the mound for the first time Friday.