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Florida at Atlanta

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Florida (65-58)000030000340
Atlanta (65-58) «40000000x480

Braves' Hanson continues hot August, quiets Marlins

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Tommy Hanson's perfect August is helping the Atlanta Braves' playoff push.

The rookie won his fourth straight start this month, combining with two relievers on a four-hitter, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Florida Marlins 4-3 on Saturday night.

The Braves moved into a third-place tie with Florida in the NL wild-card race. They began the night four games behind wild-card leader Colorado.

"Every game with them is going to be a big game, so I knew tonight was going to be a big game," Hanson said about the Marlins. "I just wanted to go out there and do my best and make pitches. Everything felt good."

The Braves, powered by home runs from Yunel Escobar and Omar Infante, took a 4-0 lead in the first inning.

Hanson (9-2) gave up four hits and three runs in seven innings. He walked three and struck out seven to improve to 4-0 in August. The right-hander has not allowed more than seven hits or three runs in any of his four starts this month.

"Hopefully, he'll be Rookie of the Year," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He pitched a great ballgame, especially the first four innings. Man! He hardly ever missed."

The 22-year-old Hanson faced the minimum 12 batters though four innings before giving up three runs in the fifth.

Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano, who pitched the ninth for his 19th save, combined for two perfect innings in relief of Hanson.

The Braves won for the first time in five home games against the Marlins this season.

Gonzalez said the Braves felt a sense of urgency after losing Friday night's series opener.

"That's what it's about now," Gonzalez said. "We had to make sure we got this one today. We talked about it before the game. ... There's no chance for losing. That's the way we're going to have to keep playing."

Chris Volstad (9-10) gave up six hits and four runs in four innings.

"I thought he did well after the first inning," Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said right-hander Brendan Donnelly, who left in the eighth with a right calf strain, is headed to the disabled list.

"It's hard to pitch with a calf [injury]," Gonzalez said.

Donnelly gave up a single to Escobar in the eighth inning before Matt Diaz followed with a sacrifice bunt. Donnelly pulled up after fielding the bunt and throwing out Diaz at first.

Gonzalez then removed Donnelly from the game.

Infante, who has made a combined 24 starts at three infield positions, made his first start of the season in left field. He made a running catch off Chris Coghlan's line drive to open the game.

Infante's leadoff homer started the Braves' four-run first inning. Volstad walked Kelly Johnson before giving up a run-scoring single by Adam LaRoche and Escobar's two-run homer for a 4-0 lead.

LaRoche had two hits and is batting .415 with 16 RBI in 19 games since his July 31 trade to Atlanta from the Boston Red Sox.

Florida's first hit was Jeremy Hermida's single with two outs in the fifth, following Hanson's walk to John Baker.

Wes Helms doubled to drive in Baker. Hermida and Helms scored on a pinch-hit single by Jorge Cantu, cutting the Braves' lead to 4-3.

The Braves loaded the bases against Brian Sanches and Renyel Pinto in the seventh but couldn't score. Pinto walked Chipper Jones to load the bases. With the Turner Field crowd of 35,200 standing and cheering, Pinto struck out LaRoche on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat.

Notes

  • Escobar's homer was his first since July 23.
  • Infante's sixth career leadoff homer gave the Braves home runs in eight straight games.
  • Braves OF Ryan Church was held out with back spasms. The Braves also were missing OF Garret Anderson with an inflamed sciatic nerve in his back and INF Martin Prado (exertional headaches).
  • Marlins 1B Nick Johnson (sore right hamstring) missed his sixth straight game.
 
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 strikes out seven and allows only three runs to improve his record this month to 4-0.  (AP)
Tommy Hanson strikes out seven and allows only three runs to improve his record this month to 4-0. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

Y. Escobar
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Atlanta

T. Hanson
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 3
BB 3
K 7
 
Florida Marlins
Chris Coghlan, LF3000101 .286
Ross Gload, 1B4000011 .260
Hanley Ramirez, SS3000101 .358
Dan Uggla, 2B4000001 .237
John Baker, C3100120 .271
Cody Ross, CF3000031 .269
Jeremy Hermida, RF3120010 .264
Wes Helms, 3B3111001 .278
Chris Volstad, P1000010 .133
   a- Jorge Cantu, PH1012000 .281
    Brian Sanches, P0000000 .000
    Renyel Pinto, P0000000 .000
   b- Emilio Bonifacio, PH1000010 .256
    Brendan Donnelly, P0000000 .000
    Matt Lindstrom, P0000000 .000
Totals2934339  
a-singled for Volstad in the 5th
b-struck out for Pinto in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jeremy Hermida (13, Hanson), Wes Helms (9, Hanson)
RBI - Wes Helms (26), Jorge Cantu 2 (70)
2-OUT RBI - Wes Helms (12), Jorge Cantu 2 (32)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Chris Coghlan 1
DP - Coghlan-Gload, Volstad-Uggla-Gload
Florida Marlins
Chris Volstad (L,9-10) 4644222 4.73
Brian Sanches 2.1100340 0.90
Renyel Pinto 0.2000110 2.70
Brendan Donnelly 0.1100000 2.04
Matt Lindstrom 0.2000000 5.86
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Volstad 71-42, Brian Sanches 46-27, Renyel Pinto 12-4, Brendan Donnelly 4-3, Matt Lindstrom 8-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Volstad 4-3, Brian Sanches 3-0, Renyel Pinto 1-0, Brendan Donnelly 1-0, Matt Lindstrom 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Volstad 17, Brian Sanches 11, Renyel Pinto 3, Brendan Donnelly 2, Matt Lindstrom 2
Atlanta Braves
Omar Infante, LF2111210 .327
Kelly Johnson, 2B3100102 .219
Chipper Jones, 3B2000211 .286
Adam LaRoche, 1B4121023 .275
Yunel Escobar, SS4122012 .304
Matt Diaz, RF2020100 .299
David Ross, C4000005 .259
Reid Gorecki, CF4010001 .250
Tommy Hanson, P2000020 .077
   a- Javier Vazquez, PH0000000 .163
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
    Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
Totals2748467  
a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Hanson in the 7th
Batting
2B - Matt Diaz (12, Volstad)
HR - Omar Infante (2, Volstad), Yunel Escobar (12, Volstad)
SH - Matt Diaz (4), Javier Vazquez (15)
RBI - Omar Infante (17), Adam LaRoche (59), Yunel Escobar 2 (62)
SB - Omar Infante (2, 2nd base off Volstad/Baker), Kelly Johnson (6, 2nd base off Volstad/Baker), Chipper Jones (4, 2nd base off Sanches/Baker)
CS - Matt Diaz (4, 3rd base by Volstad/Baker)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Escobar-Johnson-LaRoche, Hanson-Johnson-LaRoche
Atlanta Braves
Tommy Hanson (W,9-2) 7433370 3.12
Mike Gonzalez (H,13) 1000010 2.50
Rafael Soriano (S,19) 1000010 2.41
Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Hanson 99-64, Mike Gonzalez 17-10, Rafael Soriano 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Hanson 6-6, Mike Gonzalez 1-1
Batters Faced - Tommy Hanson 26, Mike Gonzalez 3, Rafael Soriano 3
Game Information
Attendance - 35200
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Scott Barry, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Bob Davidson