Oneil Cruz and Rowdy Tellez homer in 5th as the Pirates avoid sweep and beat the Braves 4-2

ATLANTA (AP) — Oneil Cruz and Rowdy Tellez each hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning, and the Pittsburgh Pirates took advantage of Bailey Falter's strong start to beat the Atlanta Braves 4-2 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.

Bryan Reynolds’ 25-game hitting streak ended with two strikeouts and two groundouts in his four at-bats. It was the longest streak in the majors this season and the Pirates’ longest since Kenny Lofton’s 26-game streak in 2003.

The Pirates' four-run fifth began with a successful challenge resulting in Jack Suwinski being hit by a pitch from Spencer Schwellenbach (1-4). With two outs, Cruz lined a homer that traveled 452 feet to the right-field seats. Cruz's 12th homer had an exit velocity of 117.3 mph.

Schwellenbach walked Edward Olivares before Tellez hit his fourth homer off the right-field foul pole.

The Pirates (40-43) capped a 14-12 June.

“I think we had a solid month,” Tellez said. “It was a good way to end it.”

Tellez ended an 0-for-8 drought with the homer.

Falter (4-6) issued four walks in five innings, but the left-hander was charged with one run and two hits. Falter struck out the side in the second and had five strikeouts overall before being affected by temperatures in the low 90s.

“I don't think I've ever seen anybody that red on the mound,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said of Falter.

Falter acknowledged the Georgia heat was overbearing.

“After the fourth I literally felt like I was standing under a magnifying glass,” Falter said.

Falter ended a streak of four consecutive losses since his last win, also against the Braves, on May 24 in Pittsburgh.

Marcell Ozuna walked to open the fourth and scored the Braves' only run off Falter on Austin Riley's double-play grounder.

Aroldis Chapman earned his third save despite giving up a run in the ninth. Following Adam Duvall's single and a double by Sean Murphy, Michael A. Taylor made a diving catch of Orlando Arcia's sinking liner for a sacrifice fly. Chapman ended the game on Zack Short's groundout.

On Saturday, Chapman passed Billy Wagner's record for most career strikeouts by a left-handed reliever.

The Atlanta Hawks' No. 1 overall pick in Wednesday's NBA draft, Zaccharie Risacher of France, wore a No. 10 Braves jersey when he threw out a ceremonial first pitch. Risacher (pronounced Ree-zah-shay), who will wear No. 10 as a swing player with the Hawks, was close to the plate with his toss.


Pirates: DH Andrew McCutchen left the game after three at-bats due to what Shelton described as “just a little illness. ... He's fine.”

Braves: RHP Ian Anderson threw three scoreless innings, giving up one hit with one walk, for Class A Augusta on Sunday as he continued his comeback from Tommy John surgery. ... OF Ramón Laureano (lower back) missed his fourth straight game.


Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (9-4, 3.20 ERA) will start on Tuesday night when the Pirates open a home series against RHP Kyle Gibson (5-3, 3.70 ERA) and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Braves: RHP Reynaldo López (6-2, 1.70 ERA) is scheduled to face RHP Hayden Birdsong (0-0, 5.79 ERA) on Tuesday night in the opener of a home series against San Francisco.