Homer Plus Walk-Off Single Has Matt Adams Playing Hero Role

ATLANTA — Three games into his stint with the Braves, Matt Adams is rapidly endearing himself to Atlanta fans.

The big first baseman had three hits on Tuesday, including the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth that gave the Atlanta Braves a 6-5, come-from-behind win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Sun Trust Park.

Adams, acquired last weekend from St. Louis as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman, was 3-for-5 with a double and a homer. His opposite-field single against Pittsburgh reliever Tony Watson (2-1) scored Nick Markakis with the winning run. Markakis had tied the game with a double that drove home Ender Inciarte.

“Like I’ve said the last couple of days, it’s just a fun group of guys to play with,” Adams said. “They go about their business the right way, and you saw that tonight. We fought to the end, and it’s fun to be a part of.”

The winning pitcher was Luke Jackson (1-0), who retired the only batter he faced.

“The game ended up all over the place, and at the end of the day, we were one run behind them,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said.

Pittsburgh took a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth when Jordy Mercer delivered a bases-loaded single against Atlanta closer Jim Johnson to score Josh Bell and Francisco Cervelli. The runs ended a streak of 22 consecutive scoreless innings for the Braves’ bullpen.

“You have fun with it,” Mercer said. “You have to enjoy the moment. I’ve been in that situation before, so that helped. You stay within yourself and make something happen.”

Atlanta had taken a 4-3 lead in the seventh on an RBI single by Matt Kemp.

The Braves trailed 3-2 when the game was stopped by rain in the top of the seventh inning. After waiting 3 hours and 12 minutes, Atlanta wasted no time jumping on the Pittsburgh bullpen to score twice.

Brandon Phillips drove in Inciarte with the tying run on a single against Wade LeBlanc. Phillips went to second on a passed ball and scored when Kemp singled to center field against Felipe Rivero.

“We stayed hungry,” Phillips said. “I just feel as a team we’re here trying to win for the city, and I feel like we’re starting to get along with each other. Everybody’s stepping their game up. It’s a lot of fun.”

Neither starting pitcher figured in the decision.

Pittsburgh’s Tyler Glasnow threw six strong innings, allowing two runs on nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Glasnow also picked up a career-best three hits at the plate. He got some good support from his defense with three double plays.

Atlanta’s R.A. Dickey, starting on three days’ rest for the ninth time in his career, pitched six innings. He worked around 11 hits and three walks and gave up three runs, one them on a home run.

Each team hit a homer in the sixth inning. Mercer had an opposite-field shot to right, his third, that just cleared the wall. Adams hit a long solo homer, his third of the year and second in two days.

The Pirates scored a run in the first inning. Adam Frazier walked to start the game and came around to score on Bell’s bloop double to left field.

Pittsburgh made it 2-0 with a run in the third. Bell drew a two-out walk, took second when Cervelli was hit by a pitch and scored on John Jaso’s RBI single.

Atlanta scored once in the fourth to trim the lead to 2-1. Adams led off with a double and scored on Kurt Suzuki’s single.

“We fight,” Hurdle said. “We continue to fight. We had a couple innings where we could have added on some runs. Those things have a way of biting you a little bit. We’ll continue to play and continue to fight.”

Hurdle was ejected for the second straight night, getting tossed in the first inning by plate umpire Nic Lentz after arguing that Suzuki blocked the plate when Bell tried to score on a ground ball.

“We had a disagreement on the baseline he had established,” Hurdle said.

NOTES: Braves LHP Sam Freeman allowed a hit in his inning of relief, ending a string of 16 consecutive hitless innings from the team’s bullpen, an Atlanta record. … Pittsburgh RHP Jameson Taillon threw a 25-pitch side session on Tuesday, his first activity since undergoing surgery for testicular cancer. … Pittsburgh OF Gregory Polanco (hamstring) took batting practice on Tuesday. Manager Clint Hurdle said the team was still processing Polanco’s return from the 10-day disabled list when the outfielder is eligible on Thursday. … Pittsburgh SS Jordy Mercer was back in the lineup after leaving the Monday game early with right hand soreness after taking a ground ball off the base of his thumb. He finished 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs.

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