- Associated Press - Saturday, June 6, 2015

ATLANTA (AP) - Former starter Vance Worley was eyeing extra innings and preparing for a possible long-relief stint.

Instead, he lasted only one pitch.

Worley gave up a game-ending homer to Atlanta Braves rookie Christian Bethancourt in the ninth inning, and the Pittsburgh Pirates lost 5-4 on Saturday night.

Bethancourt lined Worley’s offering over the right-field wall for his first major league homer.

“I was going to be out there in long relief if we didn’t score,” Worley said. “I thought it was a good pitch to him and somehow he got enough barrel on it.”

Bethancourt said Braves coaches sent him to the plate with a scouting report on Worley that “the guy was going to go out and throw sliders and cutters away. I was looking for one of two pitches.”

Worley said he threw a cutter, down and away. Bethancourt thought it was a slider. Either way, he was ready to swing.

“I hit it and thought it was going to be a foul ball,” Bethancourt said, adding he maintained hope when Gregory Polanco ran toward the right-field wall.

Worley also wasn’t expecting a homer on Bethancourt’s swing.

“His back foot came out, he swung late and I thought for sure it was going to keep curving,” Worley said, adding the shot “never really started curving” the way he expected.

Worley (2-4) said he had to shake off a loss that was especially disappointing after the Pirates rallied from a 4-2 deficit to tie the game on Polanco’s two-run single off Jim Johnson in the eighth.

Pittsburgh lost for only the third time in 15 games.

“I’ll be ready tomorrow,” Worley said. “Hopefully the outcome’s a little better if that’s the case.”

Polanco, who has a 10-game hitting streak, had three hits.

Former Pirates closer Jason Grilli (1-2) pitched a perfect ninth, and the Braves ended Pittsburgh’s four-game winning streak.

Chris Johnson hit his first homer of the season in the second for Atlanta.

Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer in the fourth for a 2-all tie.

Atlanta starter Julio Teheran gave up just three hits through seven innings but was pulled after allowing one-out singles to Francisco Cervelli and Jordy Mercer in the eighth. With two outs, Jim Johnson gave up Polanco’s tying single.

Jeff Locke allowed seven hits and four runs in 6 1-3 innings.

“I thought he did all the things we’ve asked him to work on,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “I thought he was able to take them into the game and compete.”

McCutchen’s homer, his first since May 24, drove in Polanco, who reached on a bunt single.

RUNNING MAN

Cameron Maybin helped produce a run for Atlanta in the third when he singled and stole second without a throw. He moved to third on Andrelton Simmons’ grounder and scored on Freddie Freeman’s sacrifice fly. Maybin, who had four steals in each of his last two seasons with the Padres, already has nine this year.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: Hurdle said OF Andrew Lambo (plantar fasciitis, left foot) isn’t ready for baseball activities one month after he was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Braves: 2B Jace Peterson is expected to return to the starting lineup Sunday after missing his second straight start with a bruised left thumb. Juan Uribe made his first start at 2B since he was traded to the Braves on May 27 from the Dodgers. … Chris Johnson, who missed most of May with a broken bone in his left hand, exited early but said he was not hurt.

UP NEXT

Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole will try to extend his three-game winning streak. Cole has allowed two earned runs while winning his last three starts. He is 0-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two career starts against the Braves.

Braves: LHP Alex Wood also brings a streak of three straight wins into Sunday’s game. Wood has allowed only one run in each of his last three starts.

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