Atlanta's Jonny Gomes spoiled Pittsburgh's comeback attempt with a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning to break a 5-5 deadlock. The Braves added an insurance run to claim a 7-5 Grapefruit League victory. A total of 5,857 fans came to McKechnie Field on Thursday, which brings the total attendance figure to 93,099, just 334 off setting a spring home attendance record.
Atlanta erupted for five runs off Pittsburgh starter Vance Worley in the first inning. Chris Johnson capped the Braves' half of the first with a two-run home run. Worley retired 13 in a row following the blast. The Bucs received solo homers from Josh Harrison and Neil Walker, before tying the game in the bottom of the eighth inning on a wild pitch.
The Pirates head to Fort Myers for a 1:05 p.m. game against the Twins, with Jeff Locke starting on Friday. The Bucs return to McKechnie Field on Saturday to face the Blue Jays.
- Jason Dill