Phenom Hanson rocked, but Braves get win

BY foxsports • June 7, 2009

Tommy Hanson faded after a strong start to his major league debut, but Chipper Jones and the Braves offense snapped out of a scoring drought to bail out the rookie.

Jones had four hits, including two homers, and matched his career high with five RBIs to help the Braves rally past Milwaukee 8-7 on Sunday to prevent the Brewers from their first series sweep in Atlanta.

The NL Central-leading Brewers had a pair of two-run homers from Ryan Braun.

Hanson retired the first 10 Milwaukee batters before giving up seven runs, six earned, in six innings.

Even so, Hanson was the popular topic in postgame interviews.

Catcher David Ross said Hanson showed "phenomenal" poise, and Jones said the right-hander "pitched pretty good" and was as composed as second-year starter Jair Jurrjens.

"That's part of what makes guys good - they're unflappable," Jones said.

Hanson, the Braves' most heralded pitching prospect of this decade, said poor command helped lead to three home runs.

"If I keep my command I think it turns out a lot better," said Hanson, who had a 1.49 ERA at Triple-A Gwinnett before the promotion.

"Just chalk it up to, today happened, get it behind me, get ready for the next one."

Braun said the Brewers were trying to get a feel for Hanson early in the game.

"The first time through the lineup, we wanted to make sure he was throwing strikes," Braun said. "The second time we were a little more aggressive."

Hanson struck out the side in the second with his fastball clocked at 96 mph.

"He had a good slider and fastball," Braun said. "He obviously has good stuff."

Braves manager Bobby Cox said Hanson "has got a ton of weapons."

"He's going to be a good one," Cox said. "It won't be too far off he'll be on the National League All-Star team. ... It wasn't a great debut for him. I know he's not satisfied at all. But he's got stuff and he knows how to pitch."

The Braves trailed 7-5 before scoring three runs in the eighth off Carlos Villanueva (2-4).

Brian McCann's pinch-hit double drove in Martin Prado. Nate McLouth added a tying double and scored the go-ahead run on Yunel Escobar's single to left.

"Escobar put a good swing on it, but the big hit was McLouth's," said Brewers center fielder Mike Cameron.

Villanueva pitched for the third straight day but said he "felt fine enough to go out there."

"I left a couple of balls up, and they took advantage of it," said Villanueva, who had a string of 15 straight scoreless appearances snapped. He had not allowed a hit in his last nine innings before giving up four hits and three runs in the inning.

Eric O'Flaherty (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for Atlanta. Mike Gonzalez pitched the ninth for his eighth save.

The Braves led 5-3 before Braun and Cameron hit two-run homers off Hanson in a four-run sixth inning. Braun hit another two-run homer in the fourth.

Jones left Saturday night's game with dizziness, but returned with a season-high four hits and an intentional walk. He drove in a run with a first-inning triple.

Manny Parra gave up eight hits and five runs in 5 2-3 innings.

"I thought I threw really well, but you have to tip your cap to Chipper," Parra said.

The Brewers shut out the Braves in the first two games of the series, the second time this season Atlanta has suffered back-to-back shutout losses.

The Braves ended their streak of 22 scoreless innings in the first when Escobar hit a single and scored on Jones' triple to center. Jones' sinking liner skipped past Cameron in center field. Cameron tried to make the catch and then had to turn around and run back toward the wall.

Jones' homer gave Atlanta a 2-0 lead in the third.


The Braves placed 1B Casey Kotchman on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 1, with a strained right calf. He hasn't played since he was hit by a pitch from Arizona's Max Scherzer on May 31. ... Jason Kendall's stolen base in the fifth inning was his first of the season. ... Braun's two homers gave him 12 for the season. He has nine career multihomer games, including two this season. ... Jones has 39 career multihomer games and 16 games with five RBIs.

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