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Atlanta (31-34) «010123000780
Cincinnati (33-32)000000000050

Braves righty Hanson, slugger McLouth too much for Reds

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNAIT -- For the third time in their three-games series, Atlanta outhit the Cincinnati Reds. This time, Tommy Hanson and Nate McLouth made it pay off with a win.

Hanson yielded three hits over six impressive innings and McLouth homered and drove in four runs, sending the Braves to a 7-0 victory over the punchless Reds on Thursday.

One of baseball's top pitching prospects, Hanson recorded his first major league hit and RBI. Matt Diaz also homered for the Braves, who snapped a four-game skid and avoided a sweep in Cincinnati.

"Hopefully, I can keep building on this," Hanson said. "I told myself to slow down after the second inning. [Pitching coach] Roger [McDowell] came out and told me the same thing. I cleared my mind and was able to control my fastball better."

Hanson (2-0), who made his big league debut with a no-decision against Milwaukee on June 7, walked four and hit a batter with a pitch. But he escaped two jams in his third career start.

"That was the best start Hanson had," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "He got himself in trouble, but he pitched out of it. He threw a lot of pitches early. I didn't think he was going to make it to the fifth inning, but he settled down and got a lot of first-pitch outs."

The right-hander loaded the bases in the second on two walks and a hit batter, but wriggled out of trouble by striking out pitcher Matt Maloney and Willy Taveras.

"He was kind of effectively wild," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We had the bases loaded against him, but we didn't have the right people up -- Maloney and Willy, who's not swinging the bat well."

The Reds also had runners on first and second with nobody out in the fifth, but Taveras fouled out and Diaz ran down Alex Gonzalez's bid for an RBI double in the left-center gap. Brandon Phillips flied out to end the threat.

The top six hitters in the Reds' lineup were a combined 2 for 21, less than 24 hours after their top five batters went 0 for 17 in Cincinnati's 4-3 win Wednesday night. The Braves also outhit the Reds in each of the first two games of the series, but Baker wasn't considering shaking up the lineup.

"I don't think I can shake it up any more than I have been shaking it up," he said. "I've been shaking it up all year long."

Peter Moylan, Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano each pitched an inning to finish the five-hitter, Atlanta's fourth shutout this season. The Reds were blanked for the second time.

Maloney (0-2) also was making his third career start, and he's allowed six hits each time. The left-hander yielded six runs in 5 2/3 innings.

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After the start was delayed 36 minutes by rain, the Braves grabbed the lead in the second on Casey Kotchman's sacrifice fly.

Diaz made it 2-0 with a homer to left in the fourth, his third of the year and first since April 20. The homer came on an 0-2 pitch from Maloney that was supposed to be a fastball away.

"It went in," Maloney said. "That was bad pitch selection on my part. I'm still learning. It wasn't that bad of a pitch. It just wasn't the right pitch."

McLouth added a two-run shot into the right-field seats in the fifth, his 11th this season and second since being traded by Pittsburgh to Atlanta on June 3.

"It was nice to get some runs," McLouth said. "When you're in an extended slump like we were, you start to press. This could help us relax a little. We got a great pitching performance. He's tough. I can see the ball from my position in center field. He doesn't throw that hard, but he's unpredictable."

The Braves broke it open in a three-run sixth. With two outs, Hanson drove in one run with a bases-loaded single and McLouth blooped a two-run single to right -- giving him as many RBI in one day as he had in his previous 14 June games.

It was the third time this year that McLouth had a home run and four RBI in a game.

Notes

  • The Reds resume interleague play Friday with a three-game home series against the Chicago White Sox. Cincinnati goes into the series on a nine-game losing streak against the White Sox and is just 2-12 in the series.
  • The Braves wrap up their nine-game road trip with a three-game interleague series at Boston. Atlanta is 14-7 all time against the Red Sox.
  • Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan batted fifth, the first of his 57 career starts in a spot higher than sixth.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Tommy Hanson yields three hits and four walks, while striking out two in six scoreless innings.  (AP)
Tommy Hanson yields three hits and four walks, while striking out two in six scoreless innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

N. McLouth
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
Atlanta

T. Hanson
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 4
K 2
 
Atlanta Braves
Nate McLouth, CF5124010 .256
Yunel Escobar, SS5000002 .284
Chipper Jones, 3B4000120 .302
Matt Diaz, LF4221011 .280
Martin Prado, 2B3110111 .268
Jeff Francoeur, RF3110112 .251
Casey Kotchman, 1B3001003 .279
David Ross, C3110111 .297
Tommy Hanson, P3111011 .200
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
   a- Garret Anderson, PH1000000 .258
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
    Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
Totals3478748  
a-flied out for Moylan in the 8th
Batting
2B - Matt Diaz (6, Maloney), Martin Prado (10, Maloney)
HR - Nate McLouth (11, Maloney), Matt Diaz (3, Maloney)
SF - Casey Kotchman (2)
RBI - Nate McLouth 4 (40), Matt Diaz (17), Casey Kotchman (25), Tommy Hanson (1)
2-OUT RBI - Nate McLouth 2 (10), Tommy Hanson (1)
SB - Jeff Francoeur (4, 2nd base off Maloney/Hanigan)
Team LOB - 5
Atlanta Braves
Tommy Hanson (W,2-0) 6300420 4.08
Peter Moylan 1100010 5.11
Mike Gonzalez 1100010 2.40
Rafael Soriano 1000030 1.47
HBP - Rosales (by Tommy Hanson)
Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Hanson 99-59, Peter Moylan 16-13, Mike Gonzalez 22-15, Rafael Soriano 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Hanson 4-12, Peter Moylan 1-1, Mike Gonzalez 1-1
Batters Faced - Tommy Hanson 26, Peter Moylan 4, Mike Gonzalez 4, Rafael Soriano 3
Cincinnati Reds
Willy Taveras, CF5000026 .219
Alex Gonzalez, SS4000013 .214
    Josh Roenicke, P0000000 .000
    Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
Brandon Phillips, 2B3010103 .279
Laynce Nix, LF3000001 .257
   a- Jonny Gomes, PH-LF1000010 .302
Ryan Hanigan, C2010200 .316
Jay Bruce, RF3000101 .214
Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B4010003 .239
Adam Rosales, 1B3010012 .217
Matt Maloney, P1000013 .250
    Carlos Fisher, P0000000 .000
   b- Chris Dickerson, PH1010000 .246
    Paul Janish, SS1000010 .277
Totals3105047  
a-struck out for Nix in the 8th
b-singled for Fisher in the 7th
Batting
SH - Matt Maloney (1)
SB - Brandon Phillips (8, 2nd base off Hanson/Ross), Chris Dickerson (3, 2nd base off Moylan/Ross)
CS - Brandon Phillips (5, 3rd base by Hanson/Ross)
Team LOB - 10
Cincinnati Reds
Matt Maloney (L,0-2) 5.2666252 6.11
Carlos Fisher 1.1211220 3.38
Josh Roenicke 1000010 0.00
Jared Burton 1000000 5.08
IBB - Francoeur by Matt Maloney
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Maloney 106-69, Carlos Fisher 40-25, Josh Roenicke 9-5, Jared Burton 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Maloney 3-9, Carlos Fisher 2-0, Jared Burton 1-2
Batters Faced - Matt Maloney 25, Carlos Fisher 8, Josh Roenicke 3, Jared Burton 3
Game Information
Attendance - 24657
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Joe West