Pirates 7, Braves 6(10)
For a while on Thursday, it seemed the former Pittsburgh Pirates on the Atlanta Braves' traveling roster would sink their old team.
Nate McLouth, trying to break out of a deep batting slump, homered in his first at-bat and Eric Hinske added a three-run shot, but Jesse Chavez allowed five runs in the eighth inning as the Pirates rallied for a 7-6 victory in 10 innings.
John Raynor scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the 10th for Pittsburgh after Delwyn Young hit a two-run single during Pittsburgh's big eighth inning, raising his team-leading RBIs total to 18.
McLouth hit right-hander Charlie Morton's second pitch over the left field wall. Morton and McLouth were the two main pieces in a four-player trade last June between the Pirates and Braves.
``At this point, I'll take a home run off anybody,'' McLouth said. ``It was wind-aided, but I don't care.''
McLouth came into the game batting .053 (2 for 38) with one RBI. His first hit this spring was a double in a March 4 game against the Pirates.
``I'm pressing,'' McLouth admitted. ``Whenever you're not getting hits, it's hard not to press. The timing's not quite clicking yet for me. It's something that I'm working on hard. I'll get it to click before the start of the season.''
Hinske, who also played for the Pirates last season, hit his first homer of the spring as he continues to fight for a spot on Atlanta's bench.
``I was only there (with Pittsburgh) for three months,'' Hinske said. ``It doesn't make a difference. I've got a lot of ex-teammates out there.''
Morton pitched five innings and allowed five runs on eight hits. He struck out four.
``I guess it was pitch selection,'' Morton said. ``For the most part, I was throwing strikes with all my pitches.''
Right-hander Kenshin Kawakami tossed six scoreless innings as the Braves built a 6-0 lead. Kawakami allowed four hits, walked one and struck out one.
The Pirates tied the game by scoring five runs in the eighth inning off Jesse Chavez. The right-hander pitched for the Pirates last year and was traded twice this past offseason.
NOTES: Pirates OF Ryan Church fractured the tip of his left middle finger but hopes to be able to get back in the lineup this weekend. ... RHP Vinnie Chulk has not thrown since March 19 due to a sore biceps and is slated to pitch Sunday.