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MLB: Pittsburgh 3, Atlanta 1

July 26, 2011 at 12:49 AM

ATLANTA, July 26 (UPI) -- James McDonald tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings and struck out a career-high nine batters Monday, staking the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-1 win over Atlanta.

McDonald (7-4) allowed eight hits but pitched well with runners on base and didn't issue a walk as the Pirates kept pace with St. Louis for a first-place tie atop the National League Central.

Jose Veras retired the Braves in order in the eighth and Joel Hanrahan racked up his 29th save with a 1-2-3 ninth as Pittsburgh took the opener of a four-game series at Turner Field.

Ronny Cedeno, Michael McKenry and Andrew McCutchen drove in runs for the victors.

Atlanta's Tim Hudson (9-7) absorbed the loss, surrendering three runs on five hits.

Chipper Jones belted a solo homer for the Braves.

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