Hanson earns elusive win, Braves beat Marlins

ATLANTA (AP) — 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
Friday night’s game against the Mets. His parents arrived Thursday for
Friday night’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).