- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - The first couple of times through the batting order haven’t been too tough on Mike Foltynewicz recently.

The trouble starts when he reaches the sixth inning.

“Maybe it’s just weird luck or something like that,” he said. “Things start hitting the fan. I get some bad breaks here and there.”

Foltynewicz was chased in the sixth for the third straight start, and the Atlanta Braves lost 5-3 to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Jung Ho Kang doubled home the tiebreaking run in a four-run sixth for the Pirates.

Matt Kemp went 0 for 4 and ended the game with a strikeout in his Atlanta debut.

Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole was coming off the first complete game of his career, a 10-1 win over Seattle last Wednesday. He wasn’t as dominant this time, but didn’t need to be against the major leagues’ worst offense.

Cole (7-6) struck out four and allowed seven hits, two walks and two runs - one earned - in five innings. He threw 97 pitches, four more than he did in his complete game.

He insisted the muggy conditions weren’t a factor in his early exit.

“No, I switched my jersey three times tonight,” Cole said. “Other than that, it’s the middle of summer. It’s going to be hot.”

Tony Watson, in his first game as Pirates closer since Mark Melancon’s trade to Washington, earned his first save since April 22, 2015.

Foltynewicz didn’t allow a hit until the fifth, but squandered a 1-0 lead after his 82 mph changeup hit Francisco Cervelli in the left side of the helmet. Adam Frazier doubled on the 13th pitch of his gritty at-bat, and pinch-runner Jeff Fryer scored on Jordy Mercer’s RBI groundout.

Matt Joyce’s RBI single in the sixth made it 2-all. Kang put the Pirates up 3-2 and ended Foltynewicz’s night. Frazier hit a two-run single off Jose Ramirez to give Pittsburgh a 5-2 lead.

Interim manager Brian Snitker was hoping Foltynewicz could work his way out of the jam.

“You have to experience it,” Snitker said. “You can sit here and tell him how to do it, but until you experience it, you have to do it. They’ll get it. They’ll figure it out. It’ll happen, and they’ll be all the better for it.

Foltynewicz (4-5) allowed four hits, five runs and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out four.

The Braves led 2-1 in the fifth after Nick Markakis’ RBI single.

Atlanta went up 1-0 in the fourth. A.J. Pierzynski’s grounder stayed in the infield after it bounced off the arm of Frazier, the second baseman, but it was surprisingly scored an RBI double.

Markakis cut the lead to 5-3 in the eighth with his sixth homer.

Kemp left five runners on base. Felipe Rivero struck him out to strand runners in scoring position in the seventh. The Braves acquired Kemp in a trade with San Diego on Saturday.

Freddie Freeman went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts and left six runners on.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: Cervelli initially insisted he was fine after getting hit in the helmet by Foltynewicz’s pitch and went to first base after getting checked out by a trainer. He called timeout before Frazier, the next batter, took a pitch and Cervelli then left the game.

Braves: RHP Julio Teheran was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right lat muscle. He was originally injured during a four-inning start July 22 at Colorado.

UP NEXT

Pirates: LHP Jeff Locke (8-6) is 2-2 with a 4.89 ERA in seven career starts against Atlanta.

Braves: RHP Rob Whalen will make his major league debut.


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