Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Polanco Leads Way in Nearly Every Way Pirates 8, Braves 2

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Polanco Leads Way in Nearly Every Way Pirates 8, Braves 2

Article excerpt

Lately, it seems Gregory Polanco can do no wrong.

Even when he strikes out.

In the Pirates' 8-2 win Thursday, Polanco tripled, homered and saw another run race home when he whiffed and the baseball bounced past Atlanta Braves catcher Tyler Flowers to the PNC Park backstop.

Polanco went 2 for 5 to extend his hitting streak to six games as the Pirates took three of four from the Braves (10-30) to improve to 22-18. He batted .473 (9 for 19) in four starts against the Braves. From the No. 3 spot in the lineup, where he protects Andrew McCutchen, Polanco has hit .326 with nine extra-base hits in 11 starts.

"Mr. Polanco is doing a really good job," the ever respectful John Jaso said. "It's been exciting to watch him. . He's a good baseball player and a good dude."

Left-hander Jeff Locke rebounded nicely after getting roughed up by the Chicago Cubs last weekend. Locke (2-3) scattered six hits and two runs over seven innings, dropping his ERA 45 points to 5.00. He walked two and struck out six.

"It was a real good step forward for Jeff," manager Clint Hurdle said.

Jaso and Jordy Mercer collected three hits apiece. Jaso hit one off the Clemente Wall in the second and raced, dreadlocks flying, for his first triple since 2014.

"I wasn't expecting that," Jaso said.

The day began with fowl news. Erick Aybar was scratched from the Braves lineup when he got a chicken bone stuck in his throat at lunch and was taken to a nearby hospital. A doctor sedated him and removed the bone. Aybar did not get a chance to snap his 0-for-9 slump.

Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz lasted just three innings, haunted by an ability to finish innings. Seven of the baserunners against the Braves starter, plus all five runs off him, came with two outs.

In the first, Foltynewicz hit Jung Ho Kang with a 2-2 pitch to extend the inning. …

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