Pirates Vs. Braves: Bucs Return To Atlanta, Where 2011 Season Went To Die

ATLANTA - JULY 26: Julio Lugo #28 of the Atlanta Braves scores the game-winning run in the 19th inning against Michael McKenry #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates at Turner Field on July 26, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Pirates' 2011 season went down the tubes in Atlanta last season, thanks in part to Jerry Meals' blown call.

After getting a series win from the Colorado Rockies earlier this week, the Pirates will return to Atlanta, where their season fell apart last year, for a tough four-game set against the Braves.

The Pirates were 1.5 games out of first place on July 27 of last season when a blown call in the 19th inning by umpire Jerry Meals handed them a loss they didn't deserve. They went 19-41 the rest of the season.

The first matchup of this series, at 7:35 p.m. Friday, pits A.J. Burnett, making his second start of the season, against Tommy Hanson. At 7:10 on Saturday, Erik Bedard faces youngster Randall Delgado. At 1:35 on Sunday, Tim Hudson makes his season debut for the Braves against Kevin Correia. Then on Monday at 7:10, the Pirates start James McDonald against Mike Minor, who's emerging as a tough young pitcher. The Bucs head to St. Louis on Tuesday for a series against the Cardinals.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Braves, there's Talking Chop.

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