published Monday, August 18th, 2014

Atlanta Braves use 6-run 1st to beat Pirates 7-3

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves' Andrelton Simmons is greeted by on deck batter Freddie Freeman after hitting a solo home run in the first inning of the baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Pittsburgh.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

PITTSBURGH — Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons homered to begin a six-run first inning, and the Atlanta Braves beat the sliding Pittsburgh Pirates 7-3 on Monday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

The early outburst was enough for Ervin Santana, who allowed three solo homers among nine hits in 5 1-3 innings. Santana (13-6) improved to 8-1 over his past 10 starts.

Pittsburgh has lost six in a row. Starling Marte went deep twice, and Neil Walker added a homer that became the first to reach the Allegheny River beyond right field at PNC Park this season.

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