Adam LaRoche drove in two runs, Jeff Karstens pitched well in his new role and Craig Monroe pulled off some nifty baserunning last night to lead Pittsburgh past host Atlanta, 3-2.
Charlie Morton was called up from Triple A Indianapolis to start against his former team, but the Pirates righthander lasted only one inning before a tight right hamstring ended his night.
Pittsburgh turned to Karstens (3-4), who was bumped to the bullpen by Morton's promotion. The former starter gave up one run in 4 2/3 innings to earn the win, snapping Pittsburgh's three-game losing streak.
LaRoche put the Pirates ahead in the third against Jair Jurrjens (5-4), driving in a run with a forceout. Jason Jaramillo made it 2-0 on an RBI single with two outs.
After Atlanta closed to 2-1, Monroe's heads-up play on the basepaths restored the two-run lead. He led off the seventh as a pinch-hitter and was grazed by Eric O'Flaherty's pitch. Monroe moved up on a groundout and was still at second with two outs when LaRoche hit a hard shot up the middle.
Second baseman Kelly Johnson made a diving stop and flipped to shortstop Yunel Escobar, trying for a force at second. The toss was late and Monroe never stopped running, streaking toward the plate to catch Escobar off guard. The throw to the plate was wild, and it wouldn't have gotten the speedy Monroe anyway.
Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his 14th save, giving up a two-out homer to Garret Anderson.
Escobar, who had the game-winning hit Tuesday, doubled in the sixth and came around to score on Brian McCann's towering drive to left-center. The ball struck the top of the wall, bounced back into play and was ruled a double.
Braves manager Bobby Cox came out to question the call, and three umpires headed down a tunnel next to the Pirates dugout for the first video review in Turner Field history. They only needed about a minute to decide the call was right.
While both teams managed only six hits, the Pirates had plenty of chances. Atlanta walked seven and hit two batters, but Pittsburgh left the bases loaded three times.
Brandon Moss came up twice in those situations, striking out in the first and grounding out in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Eric Hinske looked at a third strike with the bases loaded in the ninth.
Morton was one of three prospects traded by the Braves last week for All-Star centerfielder Nate McLouth. The righthander was called up after Karstens pitched in relief during Monday's 15-inning loss to the Braves.
Jurrjens went six innings, giving up four hits and two runs while striking out seven.
In another game:
* At Miami, Rick Ankiel finished a single shy of the cycle and Colby Rasmus also homered as St. Louis snapped a five-game losing streak with a 13-4 win over Florida. The Cardinals scored their season high in runs on 18 hits.
* At Milwaukee, Troy Tulowitzki and Brad Hawpe homered and Jorge De La Rosa finally beat his old team, lifting Colorado to a 4-2 over the Brewers, the Rockies' seventh straight win.
* At Houston, Geoff Blum singled in the winning run with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to lift the Astros to a 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs wasted a dominant start from Carlos Zambrano, who allowed a run on three hits through eight innings.
* There will be no more visits by Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers' clubhouse during media access periods for the remainder of his 50-game suspension. Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said the club received a "friendly reminder" from Pat Courtney, the No. 2 spokesman in the commissioner's office, that Ramirez wasn't allowed in the clubhouse when it is open to reporters.
Ramirez' suspension for violating baseball's drug rules runs through July 2. Ramirez told reporters Tuesday: "I didn't kill nobody, I didn't rape nobody, so that's it. I'm just going to come and play the game." *