Braves drill slumping Pirates 14-2, complete 3-game sweep

Updated Aug. 24, 2022 4:08 p.m. ET

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kyle Wright allowed two hits over seven efficient innings, Matt Olson hit a grand slam that found the Allegheny River and the Atlanta Braves drilled the sloppy Pittsburgh Pirates 14-2 on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.

Wright (16-5) struck out eight and walked one to tie Houston's Justin Verlander and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Tony Gonsolin for most victories in the majors. Wright needed just 73 pitches to record 21 outs while trimming his ERA to 2.99.

Atlanta has won 14 of 16 overall to keep pressure on the NL East-leading New York Mets.

The lone highlight for the Pirates came from rookie Oneil Cruz, who ripped the hardest-hit ball since Major League Baseball began measuring exit velocity in 2015. The ball left Cruz's bat at 122.4 mph and slammed into the 21-foot-high Clemente Wall in right field with two outs in the third. He was held to a single.


Olson hit it plenty hard, too. He turned on a pitch from Pittsburgh reliever Cam Vieaux and sent it well over the right-field stands in the eighth for his 27th home run of the season and his fifth career grand slam.

The ball landed 420 feet from home plate before finding its way to the river on the bounce, the 66th time in the history of PNC Park that a home run has ended with a splash.

William Contreras added his 17th home run for Atlanta, bashing a pitch from Mitch Keller (4-10) into the left-field bleachers in the second inning to give the Braves an early lead. Dansby Swanson had a two-out, bases-clearing double during Atlanta's five-run fourth, an inning that was extended because of two errors by Pittsburgh first baseman Josh Van Meter.

Olson and Robbie Grossman finished with three hits each. Swanson and Contreras had two hits.

The Pirates have lost five straight, going 2-5 during a nine-game homestand. Pittsburgh is 9-29 in its last 38 games and last in the NL Central.

The World Series champion Braves have gone 7-0 against the Pirates, outscoring Pittsburgh by a combined score of 44-14.

Pittsburgh's Kevin Newman hit his first home run of the season in the ninth.

Keller, who was given a couple of extra days of rest after getting knocked around in his previous start against Boston, wasn't particularly sharp. He allowed seven runs, two earned, on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings with two walks and five strikeouts.


Pirates: All-Star closer David Bednar (back) is playing catch and could be cleared to throw off a slope by late next week. ... C Roberto Perez, out for the season with a hamstring injury, caught a side bullpen session on Tuesday in what the team described as part of the “strengthening phase” of his rehabilitation. ... RHP Colin Holderman was removed in the eighth with right shoulder discomfort. Holderman did not retire any of the five batters he faced.


Braves: Are off Thursday before heading to St. Louis for a three-game set against the NL-Central leading Cardinals. Spencer Strider (7-4, 2.95 ERA) faces José Quintana (4-5, 3.45) on Friday.

Pirates: Travel east to Philadelphia for a three-game series starting Friday. Bryse Wilson (2-7, 5.74) will make his 15th start of the season in the opener.


More AP MLB: and