ATLANTA -- A little less than 24 hours after blowing a ninth-inning lead, the Pirates staged a ninth-inning rally against a thin Braves bullpen, then added seven more runs in the 10th inning to cruise to a 12-5 win on Wednesday night at SunTrust Park.After Mpho' Ngoepe's go-ahead RBI double
ATLANTA -- A little less than 24 hours after blowing a ninth-inning lead, the Pirates staged a ninth-inning rally against a thin Braves bullpen, then added seven more runs in the 10th inning to cruise to a 12-5 win on Wednesday night at SunTrust Park.
After Mpho' Ngoepe's go-ahead RBI double and Josh Harrison's two-run single, David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer hit back-to-back-to-back homers off right-hander Josh Collmenter.
"Just considering where we've been at so far to this point of the season, it's nice to know that guys are still going up there battling," Harrison said. "We're not quitting until that last out. You've got to make all the outs. If you give us a little breathing room, we're going to try to take advantage of it."
Collmenter, a long reliever, pitched the 10th because the Braves wanted to stay away from closer Jim Johnson and setup man Arodys Vizcaino. This decision also influenced the ninth, during which Jose Ramirez squandered a two-run lead when Osuna hit a two-run single.
Jace Peterson's two-run double capped a four-run sixth inning that blemished what had previously been an impressive start by Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams. Peterson's second-inning error gave Adam Frazier a chance to drill a three-run homer, which accounted for the three unearned runs allowed by Braves starter Julio Teheran. The right-hander retired 13 of the final 15 batters he faced and halted the struggles he'd endured while producing a 10.50 ERA in his previous five home starts.
"[Teheran] was incredible tonight," Peterson said. "In the second inning, if I make that play up the middle, that limits the damage big time. It's unfortunate we got the loss. But we battled back, and he threw great. Everything was explosive coming out of his hand tonight."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Pirates rally in ninth: Ramirez saw his 1.31 ERA rise to 2.08, as he squandered the Braves' 5-3 lead in the ninth. The hard-throwing right-hander surrendered consecutive hits to open the inning, then issued a two-out walk to Freese before Osuna drilled a game-tying, two-run single to left field.
"He was the freshest one down there, and he has been doing a great job," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "That ninth inning is a different animal, until you've experienced it. It was a good opportunity to experience that, as he had been pitching well enough, and I had confidence in him to go out there and seal the game."
Gift's delivery:Andrew McCutchen opened the 10th-inning rally with a leadoff single, then advanced to second base on Chris Stewart's sacrifice bunt. This set the stage for Ngoepe to deliver his decisive double down the right-field line against Collmenter, who has allowed 15 earned runs over his past eight innings (six appearances).
"That guy's a little funky up there," Ngoepe said of Collmenter. "He just threw me a pitch that I could throw my hands out there, and put it in play. … Coming back from a game like last night, coming back today, all tied up in the ninth and it's just chaos going, it's awesome to be a part of the 10th inning."
"That's why people come to the ballpark. You never know what's going to happen when you come out here. … You can't figure it out. You can't draw it up. It's fun to watch." -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With a homer, a single and four walks, Frazier became the first Pirates player to reach base six times in a game, without an error, since Neil Walker on Aug. 12, 2012. Frazier is the first player in at least 100 years to walk four times with two hits, including a homer, while batting leadoff.
Collmenter became the fifth reliever in Braves history to allow seven earned runs or more, while working one inning or less. The most recent was John Smoltz, who allowed eight earned runs to the Mets, while recording just two outs, on April 6, 2002. Smoltz went on to record 55 saves that year -- his first full season as a closer.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Ngoepe led off the top of the ninth by hitting a hard ground ball to the left side of the infield. Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson scooped up the ball, and made a tough, bouncing throw to first baseman Matt Adams. Ngoepe was initially ruled out on the play, but the Pirates challenged the call. A one-minute, 21-second review showed that Ngoepe -- whose helmet fell off his head and bounced in front of Adams' glove -- was safe, and the call was overturned.
"I've been keeping an eye on him and his plays, because he's an interesting shortstop to watch. And he keeps doing the [Yankees legend Derek] Jeter throw," Ngoepe said. "In my head, as soon as I hit it, I was like, 'He's going to do the Jeter. You've got to beat it out.' As soon as I got to the base, I saw the ball bounce, and I knew I was safe."
Pirates: Right-hander Ivan Nova will start the Pirates' series finale against the Braves at 12:10 p.m. ET on Thursday at SunTrust Park. Nova allowed three runs over 7 1/3 innings to beat the Phillies on Saturday at PNC Park. He worked six innings without allowing an earned run against the Braves in the Bucs' home opener on April 7.
Braves:Bartolo Colon will take the mound to conclude the four-game series against the Pirates on Thursday. Colon, who turned 44 on Wednesday, has pitched more effectively during his past two outings, but he still hasn't come close to meeting the expectations of his one-year, $12.5 million contract.
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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.