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Perez leaves with foot injury, Grilli falters late as Braves fall to Pirates 5-4 in 10 innings


PITTSBURGH — revived his flagging career during his three years in Pittsburgh, becoming an All-Star closer in 2013 while helping lead the Pirates back to the playoffs for the first time in two decades.

The energetic Grilli was a dynamic presence in the clubhouse and on the hill, where his fastball could be electrifying. The Pirates relied on it two years ago. And they knew it was coming when he came on for Atlanta in the 10th inning of a tie game Friday night.

took the first pitch he saw from Grilli and doubled. Three batters later, smacked an offering from Grilli off the wall in right field to send McCutchen sprinting home and lift the Pirates to a 3-2 win.

"McCutchen knows my style," Grilli said. "I'm trying to get ahead, he's aggressive. Leadoff guy gets on. Sometimes you can create a situation when a leadoff guy gets on."

Grilli (2-3) intentionally walked and struck out before jumping ahead of Mercer — only to have Mercer respond with his third hit of the night and the third walkoff of his career.

"I was ready for it," Mercer said. "I know he's not going to go away from his strength. I had an idea of what's coming."

(1-1) pitched a scoreless top of the 10th for Pittsburgh as the Pirates' bullpen didn't allow a hit in three innings of relief. Alvarez added two RBIs for Pittsburgh.

homered for Atlanta and had two hits, but the Braves dropped their fourth straight game.


Atlanta's came in unbeaten and had little trouble until the fifth, when a liner off 's bat drilled Perez in his right foot. Perez lay on his stomach for several moments while being tended to by trainers.

He opted to stay in the game, but with his plant leg hobbled, his control abandoned him. Perez walked on four pitches, balked Walker to second and then hit McCutchen before leaving.

X-rays on the ankle were negative though Perez was wearing a walking boot after the game as a precaution.

"Things like this happen," Perez said. "It's part of the game. I dodged a bullet and I'm hoping to be out there soon."

came on to replace Perez, but gave up an infield single to Marte and a flare to center by Alvarez that scored to Walker and McCutchen. The first RBIs off a left-hander by the left-handed Alvarez this season gave Pittsburgh the lead.

It didn't last long. Uribe took a changeup from Pittsburgh starter and sent it out of McCutchen's reach and over the wall in center field for just his third homer since coming to Atlanta in a trade with the Dodgers a month ago.

The Pirates ran themselves out of a chance to win the game in the ninth, but had little trouble getting to Grilli, who was an All-Star closer with Pittsburgh in 2013. McCutchen jumped on Grilli's fastball that jumped over the left-field wall for a ground-rule double. Grilli intentionally walked and after Alvarez struck out Mercer's fly to right kept carrying as McCutchen raced home.

"We thought Mercer would be a guy we could get out," Atlanta manager said, "hit a ball on the ground, groundball double play and get out of the inning."


Braves: Atlanta placed RHP on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a right groin strain and recalled RHP from Triple-A Gwinnett. Cunniff tweaked the groin in his last appearance against Washington on Thursday. Marimon is 3-2 with a 3.49 ERA in 10 career appearances.

Pirates: Pittsburgh placed RHP on the 15-day disabled list with right forearm tightness. Scahill (2-4) had given up a run in each of his last two appearances, including the winning home run to Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips in a 5-4, 13-inning loss Thursday night. Pittsburgh brought up RHP Deolis Guerra from Triple-A Indianapolis and transferred 1B/OF to the 60-day disabled list while he recovers from a bout of plantar fasciitis in his left foot.


Braves: Julio Tehran (5-3, 4.67 ERA) starts for Atlanta. Tehran is 2-0 with a 3.29 ERA in five games against Pittsburgh.

Pirates: RHP will try to bounce back from a nightmarish start last Sunday in Washington, when he gave up nine runs while failing to get out of the first inning, the shortest start of his career. Morton's ERA ballooned to 3.97 while taking his first loss of the season after winning each of his first five starts in his return from offseason hip surgery.

PHOTO: Pittsburgh Pirates' Pedro Alvarez drives in two runs with a double off Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Luis Avilan during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, June 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Pirates' Pedro Alvarez drives in two runs with a double off Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Luis Avilan during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, June 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

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PHOTO: Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Williams Perez walks off the mound after being pulled following an injury in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, June 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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