By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Spencer Strider outpitched Roansy Contreras in a matchup of hard-throwing rookies, Dansby Swanson had three hits, including a two-run homer, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 on Friday night for their ninth straight win.
The winning streak is the National League’s longest this season. Houston and the New York Yankees have had 11-game streaks.
Strider (2-2) allowed only four hits with eight strikeouts and one walk in 5 2/3 scoreless innings. Strider, making his first home start and only his third overall, pitched into the sixth inning for the first time.
The 23-year-old Strider began the season as a reliever before moving into the No. 5 spot in the rotation.
Contreras (1-1) had seven strikeouts, including four in his first pass through the Braves’ lineup, in his fourth start. The 22-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic allowed four runs — three earned — and eight hits with one walk in 4 2/3 innings.
Swanson’s third-inning homer off the left-field foul pole drove in rookie Michael Harris, who singled and stole second. Ronald Acuña Jr. reached on an infield hit and was caught stealing before Swanson’s homer.
Ozzie Albies’ double to right field off Contreras in the fourth drove in Travis d’Arnaud, who singled and moved to second on left fielder Travis Swaggerty’s fielding error.
Strider was pulled after giving up singles to Bryan Reynolds and Michael Chavis in the sixth. Dylan Lee struck out Cal Mitchell to end the inning.
Atlanta’s winning streak is its longest since another nine-game run from Aug. 13-22, 2021.
Atlanta led 4-0 before Chavis hit a ground-rule double off Jackson Stephens that bounced over the left-field to drive in Reynolds in the eighth. Cal Mitchell’s sacrifice fly drove in Daniel Vogelbach, cutting the Braves’ lead to two runs.
Kenley Jansen recorded three straight outs in the ninth for his 17th save in 20 chances.
Including Contreras, the Pirates started five rookies. When asked about his lineup before the game, manager Derek Shelton smiled and said “we have three to five in there about every night.”
Acuña made a leaping catch on the right-field warning track of a drive hit by Michael Perez in the seventh.
Pirates: RHP Tyle Beede remained in the game after being hit near his hip by a liner from Swanson in the seventh. Swanson reached on an infield hit on the play.
Braves: Stephens stayed in after Reynolds’ grounder hit his right knee in the eighth. Reynolds reached on his second infield single of the game before scoring on the double by Chavis. … LHP Tyler Matzek (left shoulder inflammation) threw long toss in the outfield before the game for the first time since being placed on the 10-day injured list on May 17. The next step is for Matzek to be cleared to throw from a mound.
Braves RHP Charlie Morton (4-3, 5.63) will make his first career start against Pittsburgh, where he pitched from 2009-15, when he faces RHP Zach Thompson (3-4, 4.60) as the four-game series continues Saturday.
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