Hanson, Prado Lead Braves To Victory Over Rays

May 18, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Martin Prado (14) hits a double in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Tommy Hanson threw seven strong innings and Martin Prado scored three runs in Atlanta's 5-3 win over the Rays.

Hanson dealt the Rays their fourth home loss in their last five games and Prado helped him out with a first-inning double off Rays starter James Shields, and then scored his first run on a Freddie Freeman hit. In the second inning, the Braves added to their lead thanks to the 40-year-old legs of Chipper Jones. Chipper was at third with two outs when Shields flung a wild pitch past Tyler Pastornicky, and Chipper slid in just under the tag of catcher Jose Molina for the second run of the game.

The Rays would come back to tie the score in the third, scoring their first run in the bottom of the second on three straight hits, the third hit being a bunt single by Elliot Johnson with runners at first and third. With the bases loaded in the third, Luke Scott hit a sacrifice fly for the tying run. Despite the threat, Hanson escaped the inning allowing just the one run.

Hanson breezed through the next four innings, surrendering only a pair of singles in that span. He allowed six hits overall and struck out three with a pair of walks.

Atlanta broke the 2-2 tie in the fifth, and Prado started the rally with two outs by drawing a seven-pitch walk. An errant pickoff throw moved him to second for Freddie Freeman, and the first baseman doubled him in for Atlanta's third run of the game. A walk to Dan Uggla allowed Brian McCann to drive in Freeman with a single to right for a 4-2 lead.

Shields struck out eight in six innings and surrendered four runs on seven hits, throwing 115 pitches.

Prado added an insurance run in the seventh with a home run off J.P. Howell, his third of the season. The Rays pushed across a run in the eighth against Jonny Venters on a run-scoring hit by Luke Scott, his third hit of the game.

Craig Kimbrel needed only eight pitches in the ninth to dispose of the Rays and earn his 12th save of 2012.

Chipper Jones had to leave the game in the eighth inning after a sharp line drive by B.J. Upton in the third inning struck him hard just above his left ankle.

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