Rally helps Hanson break winless skid
by Charles Odum
Associated Press Sports Writer
September 28, 2012 01:24 AM | 1279 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Though the Braves rallied for the win, Tommy Hanson had another unsteady outing on the mound Thursday.
<Br>Associated Press photo
Though the Braves rallied for the win, Tommy Hanson had another unsteady outing on the mound Thursday.
Associated Press photo
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ATLANTA — Tommy Hanson ended his long winless stretch. It remains to be seen if it was enough to earn a spot in the Braves’ postseason rotation.

David Ross and Andrelton Simmons raced home on left fielder Bryan Petersen’s costly error, sending Hanson and Atlanta to a 6-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on Thursday night.

Hanson (13-9) allowed two runs, one earned, and six hits in 5 1/3 innings for his first win since July 30, also against Miami. The right-hander was 0-4 with a 5.06 ERA in his previous seven starts.

“I think I did all right — not good, not bad,” Hanson said. “I would have liked to have gone a little deeper.”

Atlanta has won five in a row. The Braves, who have clinched at least a wild-card berth, remained four games behind Washington in the NL East.

Kris Medlen is expected to start for Atlanta in a wild-card game. If the Braves advance in the playoffs, a four-man rotation likely would include Tim Hudson and Mike Minor. That would leave Hanson and Paul Maholm competing for the final spot.

Hanson, who struck out four and walked two against Miami, likely will have one more regular-season start at Pittsburgh.

“He did OK,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He kept us in the ballgame. He kind of scattered the ball around control-wise.”

Miami led 2-0 before the Braves scored four runs in the fourth inning. Dan Uggla and Simmons had run-scoring doubles before Jacob Turner (1-4) walked Jose Constanza to load the bases.

Petersen dropped Martin Prado’s sinking liner, allowing Ross and Simmons to score.

Petersen said the ball was “in and out” of his glove.

“It’s a ball I have to catch,” he said. “There aren’t a lot of excuses you can make right there. It’s a catchable ball.”

Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was disappointed the defense didn’t provide better support for Turner, who allowed four runs, two earned, and six hits in six innings.

“One of these days when this kid pitches we might play better for him,” Guillen said. “I hope. Before his career’s over.

“The last two outings he’s pitched well but I think his teammates let him down. He was one out away from having a very good inning and we didn’t do it for him.”

Miami has lost seven straight for its longest slide of a disappointing year. The Marlins also were swept by the Mets during an 0-6 road trip.

“It’s rough but we’re still grinding,” Petersen said. “The season’s coming to a close but it’s not over and there’s still stuff that we’re working on.

“We’re going to push forward for momentum going into next year. Try to get as good a feeling as possible.”

Atlanta swept the three-game series to finish 14-4 against the Marlins for the season.

The Braves extended their lead with two runs in the seventh. Wade LeBlanc gave up a double to Prado before loading the bases with walks to Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman. Uggla hit a two-run single off Ryan Webb.

Uggla had two hits and drove in three runs while raising his average to .217. It’s been a long year for the All-Star second baseman, but this solid night prompted him to declare “I’m back.”

“I’m not searching for it,” Uggla said of his hitting stroke. “It’s me and I’m going to do what I do from here on out.”

Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones, continuing the final homestand of his career, tipped his helmet when fans rose for a standing ovation before his first at-bat in the second. Jones then took a deep breath, entered the batter’s box and drew a walk. He was 0-for-3.

“That was pretty fun,” Jones said of the ovation. “I wish I had played a little better tonight, but the rest of the guys picked up the slack.”

Jones, 40, is retiring after the season and will be honored by the team before tonight’s game against the Mets. His parents arrived Thursday for tonight’s ceremony.

Petersen hit a leadoff double in the third and scored on Carlos Lee’s two-out double down the left-field line.

The Marlins added a run in the fourth. Scott Cousins singled, moved to second on Hanson’s wild pickoff throw, and scored on a double by Gil Velazquez.

NOTES: Braves CF Michael Bourn (jammed left thumb) missed his fourth straight start. An MRI showed no tear. Bourn is day to day with a slight sprain. ... Braves C Brian McCann was held out with a sore right knee. “He’s just having a tough time moving around back there,” Gonzalez said. ... Atlanta’s Tim Hudson (16-6) will face LHP Jonathon Niese as the Braves open a weekend series against the Mets on Friday night. After the series, the Braves close the regular season with three games at Pittsburgh. ... The Marlins return to Miami to open a series against Philadelphia. Miami LHP Mark Buehrle (13-13) will face Cliff Lee (6-8).
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