Is it too early to say that our ace, Tommy Hanson, stepped up and got this team out of its 4-game losing streak? Yes, it probably is too early to call him our ace, but Tommy Hanson certainly is getting better at pitching in the major leagues. He led the charge Thursday afternoon as the Braves avoided the sweep and shutout the Reds.
Hanson struggled early, loading the bases in the second inning, but got the Reds leadoff hitter to strikeout to end the scoring threat. That was only one of two strikeouts on the day for Hanson, who is still struggling with his control as he issued 4 walks, while holding the Reds to just 2 hits through 6 innings. The bullpen finishers -- Peter Moylan, Mike Gonzalez, and Rafael Soriano -- pitched the last three innings for the ultra-safety non-save.
The offense got going early with a run on a Casey Kotchman sac fly in the second inning, and homeruns from Matt Diaz and Nate McLouth in the fourth and fifth. Tommy Hanson got the scoring started in the 3-run sixth with a two-out bases-loaded single for his first major league hit and RBI. McLouth followed with a two-run double to put the Braves up by 7 runs.
For as much as the last two games were all about mistakes and missed opportunities, the Braves took advantage of most every opportunity in this game. It helps when the ball leaves the park, as it did twice, and the Braves pitchers pitched around trouble and held the Reds 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
A good win to build some confidence heading into this weekend's series in Boston.
|Final - 6.18.2009||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Tommy Hanson (2 - 0)
LP: Matt Maloney (0 - 2)