ATLANTA (AP) — Bryan Reynolds had three hits, including a two-run homer, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat Atlanta 8-4 to prevent the Braves from becoming the first major league team to clinch a playoff berth Saturday night.
The Pirates took the lead by scoring three runs in the fifth. Endy Rodriguez delivered an RBI single off Michael Tonkin for a 4-3 lead. Jack Suwinski and Ji Hwan Bae also had run-scoring singles in the inning. Bae scored from first on Ke’Bryan Hayes’ double in the third.
Reynolds homered off Dylan Dodd (2-2) in the third. Liover Peguero added to the lead with a home run off Kirby Yates in the ninth.
Atlanta’s Matt Olson hit his major league-leading 48th homer off Carmen Mlodzinski in the seventh, his fifth in the last six games.
In a pregame ceremony, the Braves retired the No. 25 of 10-time Gold Glove center fielder Andruw Jones.
The Braves, who lead the majors with 92 wins, began the day 14 1/2 games ahead of second-place Philadelphia in their bid for a sixth consecutive NL East title. They need one win to clinch no worse than a wild card.
Tensions rose and benches cleared in the first inning when Johan Oviedo’s fourth pitch backed Ronald Acuña Jr. off the plate. Acuña glared at Oviedo after the thigh-high pitch. Oviedo returned the glare and then began shouting at Acuña as he walked toward the plate.
Home plate umpire Rob Drake stepped in front of Acuña as players from each bullpen and bench entered the field. No punches were thrown. Oviedo walked Acuña on the next pitch and Acuña again stared at the pitcher as he walked to first base. Acuña was caught stealing on Oviedo’s first pitch to Ozzie Albies.
After giving up back-to-back, run-scoring singles to Acuña and Albies in the fourth, Oviedo hit Austin Riley with a pitch on Riley’s left arm. Braves manager Brian Snitker was ejected by first base umpire Bill Miller after coming out of the dugout to argue, apparently contending Oviedo should have been ejected after warnings had been issued.
As Snitker argued with Miller, Pirates manager Derek Shelton already had made a move to remove Oviedo, who allowed three runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings, and bring in left-hander Ryan Borucki (2-0).
Dodd, making his sixth start of the season with Atlanta, allowed four runs in four-plus innings.
Miguel Andujar had three hits for Pittsburgh.
Acuña reached base four times, on two singles and two walks.
Pirates: OF/C Henry Davis (right hand muscle strain) homered as he began his rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis. Davis has been on the 10-day injured list since Aug. 21.
Braves: 3B Austin Riley (illness) returned after missing two games. … Dodd was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett and RHP Ben Heller was optioned to Gwinnett.
Each manager was waiting to announce his starting pitcher for Sunday’s finale of the three-game series. RHP Luis Ortiz (4-4, 4.90) is a possible choice for the Pirates.