From George Henry
The Associated Press
ATLANTA – Ronald Acuna Jr. scored a grand slam in the second inning ahead of Tyler Anderson, Ehire Adrianza added another slam in the eighth against position player Wilmer Difo and the Atlanta Braves scored seven times in a 20-1 game against Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night .
Austin Riley scored twice for his first multihomer game, and Ozzie Albies, Marcell Ozuna and Dansby Swanson also went deep into the Braves, who became the first team in Major League history to have seven or more homers in a game with two slams on STATS .
Acuna had five RBIs and gave Atlanta a 5-0 lead on his 14th homer, tying the Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani to lead in the Major League. Acuna’s first slam took place on June 10, 2019 against Alex McRae from Pittsburgh.
Difo, a 29-year-old midfielder in his seventh season in the Major League, was relieved to start in eighth place, the Pirates 12-0 down.
He was throwing at up to 88 mph, and Adrianza came up with an offer of 80 mph. Difo allowed three walks and six hits in his one inning, handing the runscoring singles to Kevan Smith and Guillermo Heredia, Ozuna’s RBI double and Riley’s sacrificial fly.
Difo went with a 72.00 career ERA.
Atlanta avoided dropping below 500 in its worst five games of the season. The three-time defending champion of the NL had lost seven of their last ten games.
Atlanta-based Ian Anderson started against Pittsburgh’s Tyler Anderson after Ian Anderson started and won a game the Brewers started against Brett Anderson last Saturday in Milwaukee.
This was the first time since 1900 that a pitcher started successive games against different pitchers with the same last name as him, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Ian Anderson (4-1) gave up six hits in six scoreless innings with six strokes and no runs as the Braves won for the seventh time in his last eight starts. He got stranded two runners in the first, one runner in the second, one in the fifth, and two in the sixth. Two of the hits came on Bunts and another was an infield single.
Anderson improved to 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA in eight home starts. The Atlanta starters have achieved an ERA of 2.50 in their last 17 games.
Tyler Anderson (3-4) gave up nine runs, ten hits – seven for extra bases – and two walks in five innings. The Pirates had won five of his previous six starts.
Albies and Riley met 9-0 in the fifth, and Riley and Swanson met consecutive homers in the seventh against Chasen Shreve.
Pirates: Manager Derek Shelton said RHP Trevor Cahill has shown improvement in his left calf but is still receiving treatment day in and day out. … OF Ka’ai Tom was put on the 10-day list of injured with an injured left wrist. INF Cole Tucker has been recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. … Nick Gonzales injured his right hand in a game with Double-A Greensboro on Wednesday. He is expected to return to baseball activities in four to six weeks.
Braves: C Travis d’Arnaud, on the 60-day DL with a torn left thumb ligament, had his sutures removed and is still wearing a plaster cast, but manager Brian Snitker said he started some baseball activities like running, throwing and swinging bat with one arm. … C Alex Jackson (left thigh trunk) started a rehab with Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday.
Pirate RHP Mitch Keller (2-5, 7.16 ERA) faces a Braves starter who has not yet been announced.
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