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Delgado fans five in strong win over Mets

Even with two All-Star starters hurt or struggling in the Minors, it has been pitching that has keyed a Braves run of 13 victories in their last 16 games after an 0-4 start to the season.

Right-hander Randall Delgado will try to keep it going Saturday against a Pirates team that -- until Friday -- had been extraordinary at the art of playing small ball.

Delgado is 2-1 with a 5.74 ERA in three starts for the Braves, who have managed to compensate for the loss of All-Star right-handers Jair Jurrjens and Tim Hudson.

"The biggest thing right now is our starting pitching," second baseman Dan Uggla said. "If we've got a lead in the sixth or seventh inning, we'll always have a pretty good chance. We're getting some timely hitting, too, some good at-bats, picking each other up. That's the goal every day."

Starters Tommy Hanson (3-2, 3.00 ERA), who got the win in Friday's 6-1 victory over the Pirates, Brandon Beachy (2-1, 1.05), Mike Minor (2-1, 3.42) and Delgado and the bullpen, led by closer Craig Kimbrel -- who is 7-for-7 in save situations -- have fueled the Braves' early-season success.

Jurrjens, who was sent to the Minors after a miserable start with an 0-2 record and 9.37 ERA, will make his debut for Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday at Toledo.

The same day, Hudson, who was 16-10 with a 3.34 ERA in 2011, makes his season debut for the Braves after recovering from back surgery.

Before Friday's loss to the Braves, the Pirates in their first 18 games did not score or allow more than five runs in any game.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the longest such streak in Major League history.

The previous longest streak was held by the 1943 Tigers, who played their first 17 games without scoring or allowing more than five runs.

The 1965 Pirates held the previous National League distinction, doing so in their first 16 contests.

Left-hander Erik Bedard (0-4, 2.63 ERA) will be the Pirates' starter Saturday.

The Pirates have been shut out twice and scored a total of three runs for Bedard in his four starts.

Pirates: Presley streak at 11
• Leadoff batter Alex Presley has hit safely in a career-best 11 straight games, which is the fourth-longest current streak in the NL. He had two hits Friday to raise his average to .296.

Braves: Two more hits for Bourn
• Outfielder Michael Bourn hit .407, first baseman Freddie Freeman .385 and Uggla .370 on the Braves' recent road trip.

Bourn had two hits in the the first game of the homestead Friday, Freeman had a hit and scored a run and Uggla had a double and two RBIs.

• Chipper Jones had two hits and two RBIs.

Worth noting
• Jones, who homered Wednesday, became the fifth player to homer on his 40th birthday and the seventh player who homered on their birthday when they were 40 or older, joining the likes of Wade Boggs (40), Darrell Evans (41), Joe Morgan (40, two-homer game), Tony Phillips (40), Bob Thurman (40) and Jim Thome (41).

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