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.