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Bucs best Braves
Pittsburgh Pirates’ Nyjer Morgan, bottom, steals second base under the leg of Atlanta Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar during the first inning Wednesday in Atlanta. - photo by JOHN AMIS

ATLANTA — Adam LaRoche drove in two runs, Jeff Karstens pitched well in his new role and Craig Monroe pulled off some nifty baserunning to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Atlanta Braves 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Charlie Morton was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis to start against his former team, but the Pirates right-hander 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 on a near-homer by Brian McCann, and Monroe's heads-up play on the base paths 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 McCann's towering drive to left-center. The ball struck the top of the wall, bounced back into play and was ruled a double by the umpiring crew.

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 comes up twice in those situations, striking out in the first and grounding out in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Eric Hinske took a called third strike with the bases full in the ninth.

Morton got through the first, allowing one hit, but he headed straight to clubhouse after the inning. The Pirates said his hamstring tightened before the game and he couldn't pitch through it.

Morton was one of three prospects traded by the Braves last week for All-Star center fielder Nate McLouth. The right-hander 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. This was the sixth time in 13 starts that Atlanta has scored two runs or less.

NOTES: Atlanta again failed to win four straight games for the first time this season. The Braves have five three-game winning streaks. ... Greg Norton made his second straight start at first base for Atlanta. ... Morton was the sixth pitcher to start for the Pirates in 2009.

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