Braves use 6-run 1st to beat Pirates 7-3 - NBC Sports

Braves use 6-run 1st to beat Pirates 7-3
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Ervin Santana throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning of the baseball game on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
August 18, 2014, 10:15 pm

PITTSBURGH (AP) 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.

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