ATLANTA — After becoming the first team to qualify for the playoffs, the Atlanta Braves began to aim higher.
“I want to congratulate everybody, but our biggest goal after the preseason is to win the division,” manager Brian Snitker said after the Braves rallied to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Sunday.
Matt Olson went 3-2, with three RBI.
Atlanta leads the Phillies, its rivals, by 15 games in the National League East Division before the four-game series begins Monday in Philadelphia. If the Braves win three of four, they will clinch their sixth straight division crown.
“We have four tough games ahead of us in four days,” Snitker said. “Their lineup is the same as ours.”
By securing qualification after 142 games, the Braves tied the 1975 Cincinnati Reds for the sixth fewest games to clinch a postseason berth in a 162-game season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Yankees in 1998 set the record by achieving it after 135 games.
Atlanta (93-49) reached the postseason for the sixth straight year, the second-longest streak in franchise history. The Braves won 11 straight NL East titles from 1995 to 2005.
Venezuelan Roland Acuña Jr. had one that sparked a comeback in the seventh inning, plus two RBIs.
Brad Hand (4-1) got the win in relief of rookie Allan Winans, who allowed two runs and six hits, striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings.
For the Pirates, Dominican Liover Peguero 4-0.
For the Braves, the Venezuelan Acuña Jr. 3-1 with one run scored and two RBIs, Orlando Arcia 3-0 with one run scored. Dominican Marcell Ozuna 4-0. Puerto Rican Eddie Rosario 4-1.