Uggla (3 RBIs) helps Braves finish Marlins sweep

They wanted Tommy Hanson to put it together and get on board the train Thursday, and the Braves couldn’t have asked for a better opponent than the Marlins to help make it happen.

The Braves erased an early two-run deficit with a four-run fourth and beat the Marlins 6-2 to complete a series sweep at Turner Field, pushing their winning streak to five games and snapping Hanson’s winless streak at seven starts.

Dan Uggla had two hits and three RBIs and David Ross and Andrelton Simmons added two hits apiece for the Braves, who won for the 17th time in 23 games and moved to 10-2 with a 2.09 ERA in their past 12.

“We’re playing good baseball and doing what we need to do,” Uggla said. “We’ve got six games left, so we’ve just got to keep taking care of business and keep going in the direction we’re going.”

Uggla has played two games with painful cuts and medical staples on his right hand from an accident during Tuesday’s celebration after the Braves clinched a postseason berth. He stuck his hand into a barrel cooler to get a beer and slashed it on a champagne class someone had dropped in the barrel.

“Danny had a great night offensively,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “A big two RBIs there in the seventh inning for us not to use [Craig] Kimbrel in the ninth. That was nice…. Earlier this month we talked about if [Uggla] got hot, he could carry us. That’s what we’re seeing from him right now.”

Uggla has hit .290 with eight extra-base hits and 13 RBIs in his past 18 games, after batting .151 with 17 extra-base hits and 27 RBIs in 77 games from June 6 through Aug. 6.

The Braves are still four games behind National League East leader Washington, which beat Philadelphia 7-3. With only six games to play, their chances are slim of catching the Nationals for the division title.

After clinching a postseason berth Tuesday and securing home-field advantage over the other wild-card team on Wednesday, the Braves are currently projected to host St. Louis in the NL Wild Card game on Friday, Oct. 5.

“We’re having success because we’re going about our business the right way at the right time of the year,” said Chipper Jones, who is halfway through his first regular-season homestand and tipped his helmet to a standing ovation when he came to bat to lead off the second inning. “That was pretty fun. I wish I’d have played a little better tonight, but the rest of the guys picked up the slack….

“I don’t want to miss any games from here on out. I don’t know how the rest of the guys feel about that, but I think until we’re out of the division [race] or we catch somebody, everybody’s going to be in there pretty much the whole time.”

Hanson (13-9) allowed six hits and two runs (one earned) in 5-1/3 innings and won for the first time since his back-to-back wins against Miami in the last week of July. In his past 10 starts, he’s 3-0 with a 1.76 ERA in three starts against the Marlins, and 0-4 with a 5.06 ERA in seven against everyone else.

“He did OK,” Gonzalez said of Hanson, who two walks with four strikeouts. “He kept us in the ballgame. He kind of scattered the ball around a little bit command-wise, but he made some pitches when he had to and only gave up two runs. We were able to score some runs for him and shut it down there with our bullpen. So he did OK.”

The Braves trailed 2-0 and had only just hit until the fourth inning, when they got four consecutive one-out hits against Marlins rookie starter Jacob Turner (1-4) and batted around their order.

Freddie Freeman got the inning going with a one-out and scored when Uggla lashed a double to the left-field corner. Ross surprised the Marlins by dropping a perfect bunt down the third-base line for a single, and Simmons followed with a game-tying double.

One out and one Jose Constanza walk later, Martin Prado hit a line drive that popped out of the glove of left fielder Bryan Petersen. Two runs scored on the play and the Braves had a 4-2 lead.  Uggla added a two-run single in the seventh.

The Braves scored four runs while Hanson was in the game, after not scoring more than two while he was in any game since his two starts against the Marlins July 25 and July 30. They scored six runs while he was in each of those, but one or no runs while he was in five of his past seven starts.

Not that poor run support that’s been the biggest issue for Hanson, who just hasn’t pitched well or deep into games since the All-Star break. He was 2-4 with a 5.88 ERA in his past 11 starts before Thursday.

“I felt OK,” he said. “I struggled a little bit in the second, but I thought I did all right. Not great, not bad, just kind of middle of the road. I would have liked to have gone a little deeper, obviously. It’s nice to get a win; It’s been a while since I got a win. So I’ll take it. We swung the bats well and we swept a team.”

He pitched Thursday like a guy who might merit some consideration for the postseason roster, although the Braves have four starters who’ve pitched better — Kris Medlen, Tim Hudson, Mike Minor and Paul Maholm.

Also, the Braves won’t face the Marlins in the postseason. Hanson is 8-2 with a 2.39 ERA in 12 career starts against the Marlins, including 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA in his past seven.

The Braves finished their season series with a 14-4 record against Miami.

After leaving the bases loaded against Hanson in the second inning, the Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the third on doubles by Petersen and Carlos Lee, who hit a hanging 1-2 slider with two out.

The Braves stranded two in scoring position in the bottom of the third when Jason Heyward struck out to end the inning, and the Marlins scored an unearned run in the fourth when Scott Cousins singled, advanced on Hanson’s errant pickoff throw to first, and scored on a double by No. 8 hitter Gil Velazquez.

Hanson seemed revived by the Braves’ four-run fourth inning. He retired the Marlins in order in the fifth and induced a leadoff groundout in the sixth before Donovan Solano singled. Gonzalez went to the bullpen at that point, and rookie left-hander Luis Avilan got the next two batters on groundouts to end the inning.

Jonny Venters allowed one hit in two relief innings for the Braves, whose 2.95 ERA since the All-Star break is the NL leader by more than fourth-tenths of a run.

31 comments Add your comment

Brandon

September 27th, 2012
10:05 pm

Tommy Hanson continues to impress. A career high 13 wins in a season. Give him an extension!!!

double

September 27th, 2012
10:06 pm

Errors & Excuses.Errors up tonight.No excuses needed.Now do same with Mets.

Brandon

September 27th, 2012
10:06 pm

sarcasm ^^^^^ but good game Bravos!!! Lets keep rolling!!!

RBI

September 27th, 2012
10:08 pm

It was nice to hear Hanson did not give up a home run. It appears he might have extended his shelf life a little longer.

brian in roswell

September 27th, 2012
10:25 pm

Who’s startin game 5

brian in roswell

September 27th, 2012
10:25 pm

Who’s startin game 5

brian in roswell

September 27th, 2012
10:32 pm

They r gonna have to look at what pitcher has he best stats overall and this year against the cards. And who’s been hott this month. Has to be Huddy or medlen. I think u go to a 4 man rotation in playoffs and use Hanson in bullpen due to his inconsistency. But what if that messes w his head and he gives a 3 run dinger to Holliday on the 7th. I think Paul maholm would be a nice addition to the bullpen jus for theplayoffs. Him orminor manu never know what u get w minor or Hanson.

John in Wichita

September 27th, 2012
10:43 pm

Meds is scheduled to pitch vs the Cards. All hands on deck after that, I’m sure. Minor has been excellent over the past couple of months, so I wouldn’t have a problem seeing him start a playoff vs the Reds or Nats. Go Braves.

bulldogbubba

September 27th, 2012
10:57 pm

You gotta go with the top 3 – Medlen, Minor, Hudson and use the others out of the bullpen.Sheets was just activated so he might be fresh enough to go if needing a 4th starter in playoffs. GO BRAVES

ATLcracker

September 27th, 2012
11:00 pm

Uh I don’t think you want Hanson in the bullpen. How could you bring him in with runners on base? If the Braves approach this logically he shouldn’t be on the post season roster at all. Thanks. Appreciate the effort. We will vote you a full share. See you in Spring Training. Try to get yourself in shape.

nolakid21

September 27th, 2012
11:03 pm

Thank god brian in roswell is not making decisions for this team. Minor has been the second best pitcher on the staff since the All Star break with a daunting 2.23 era and the most QS this season. 3 man rotation with Melden, Hudson, Minor.

Mikey

September 27th, 2012
11:04 pm

Sorry but Tommy is the Braves number 5 starter and will not be pitching in the post season as a starter.

Jake

September 27th, 2012
11:08 pm

Geez, Brandon, you scared me for a minute. I thought you were serious about that extension. Whew!

Buzz 2011

September 27th, 2012
11:26 pm

Who’s startin game 5

ChipperisGod

September 27th, 2012
11:31 pm

Hanson is done, and I hope that if he is on the postseason roster, he is only used if the game is a blow out, one way or the other. He still missed a lot on location tonight despite only giving up 2 runs. He is no economical with his pitches and struggles mightily.

Still, he pitched a little better, minimized damage, and kept us in the game. He still missed a lot, but I think he is having trouble readjusting from being a power pitcher, to now being a finesse pitcher.

When Tommy’s location is good, he can pitch well, but he misses too much with his slider and his breaking ball, while it can be devastating, when it doesn’t break it’s horrendous.

We need to deal him in the offseason or let him go (if he’s a free agent).

Good win tonight. Awesome seeing Andy hit the ball hard, Martin was clutch as always and Dan did a great job tonight. Hope stays pretty hot. He’s been looking better and better recently. Can only hope it continues.

The nats!!!! AHHHHH! Phils couldn’t pull it out. Well, we’re holding up our end of the bargain at least.

Wainwright will hopefully eat his words about us celebrating and how they’re going to come in here and beat us. He better watch himself. We’re 26 games over 500 for a reason. We’ve got a good team and have taken 5 of 6 from the Cards. They haven’t even clinched yet, and could easily get swept by the Nats this weekend. Nothing but arrogance and ignorance from Wainwright.

We shall show the might of Braves country next Friday, if you’re lucky enough to limp into the postseason.

Go Braves!

Quack Quack

September 27th, 2012
11:44 pm

Thanks for the article DOB. I thought in your first sentence, that they put Tommy on a train to Utah, or some where far, far away.

So really we got 2 good innings, 1st and 5th, and the others, wow on the edge. He throws 2 strikes three balls, and foul after foul to every batter.

Great win, great sweep, and lets just keep winning games. It doesn’t look like the Gnats are going to stumble, so lets just keep winning.

Nice win Tommy, and the TEAM. Maybe this will help him turn the corner, and be the pitcher he should be.

GO BRAVES!!!

Robards

September 28th, 2012
12:44 am

Chipper’s “first regular season homestand?” That was in ‘93. This is his last one. I know you’re in a hurry to post.

reckingball

September 28th, 2012
1:21 am

Speaking from my armchair, Hanson won, so maybe the Braves should let it stand like that for him, and shut him down, now.
Going out as a winner, may increase his trade value.
Imo, the Braves would be better next year, without him.
go braves

reckingball

September 28th, 2012
1:23 am

Those Phillies sure weren’t much help. Two out of 3 wouldn’t have been bad.
come on Cards, swat some Nats.

Paddy

September 28th, 2012
1:34 am

A post game celebration injury, now that is a first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

todd

September 28th, 2012
2:27 am

why are you idiots talking about who’s going to start game five? we have a 1 game play in with St Louis (as of today) to see who earns the right to be in the playoffs. any talk of who’s going to start game 5 is a little premature don’t you think? that’s why people call us the worst fans in the league.. that’s the kiss of death too so thanks for jinxing the entire team. can someone kill a live chicken so we can remove this?

Ted Nugent

September 28th, 2012
2:45 am

Glass Scratch Fever!!

lakedawg

September 28th, 2012
7:27 am

Isn’t Hanson a free agent after the season? Isn’t Boras his agent?

He will not wear a Braves uniform after the next 6 games-

steve

September 28th, 2012
8:28 am

What is a “champagne class”?

longtimefan

September 28th, 2012
8:39 am

This is Hanson’s 4th year of major league service. He is eligible for free agency after six.
For the few bloggers out there who are not fans of Chipper Jones, the baseball player, (I think there are 4 of you left) do yourself a favor and read Jayson Stark’s article in ESPN. It chronicles Chipper’s achievements. If you still think he is unworthy of first ballot HOF or doubt what he has meant to this team for this year and his career, than plain and simple you are a hater with an axe to grind. You may not like him because he is very wealthy, 6′4″ and an amazing athlete; in that case you may benefit from some soul searching and a little one-on-one time with a therapist. You may not like him because he’s a good ole boy who talks southern, likes to hunt, goes to Hooters; that would make you a bigot. You may not like him because of his divorces and his long ago extramarital affair; in that case, watch those stones you are throwing, open your eyes and look around at your family and friends and get back to us. You might not like him because you played a little ball in high school but weren’t nearly good enough for the Big Show; that would make you jealous.

Winchester

September 28th, 2012
9:10 am

“But I thought I did all right”. Anybody getting tired of this guy who always seems to do “all right”?

Cowbell Hell

September 28th, 2012
9:25 am

Post Season Rotation: Medlen, Huddy, Maholm, Minor…

bulldog bubba did you forget about Maholm?! and ur absolutely right ATLcracker, they will never pitch Hanson in relief are you kidding me? I wouldnt be suprised to see him left off the playoff roster.

Lobosolo

September 28th, 2012
9:30 am

Not me, Winchester, but then, I am a real fan… It happens to every player from time to time, but Uggla’s average has indeed suffered the last couple of years… however, his power numbers are up there with the best of the 2nd basemen,… he HAS produced…. I can’t think of anyone that hustles like he does from the beginning to the end of every game…

Armchair whiners just love to obsess and cry about something EVERY DAY… it’s part of the nature of being a pussied pseudo-fan… Stop with all this “we” business, Whinemasters… y’all aren’t privy to jumping on the bandwagon of the team whose players you’ve disparaged ALL YEAR LONG… run along, now…. there are fresh binkies to be sucked…

Miami Dave

September 28th, 2012
11:06 am

@longtimefan- Great comments and a great idea to check out Stark’s story about Chipper. About the rotation, Gonzales has said Medlen with start the WC play-in game and then start Game 3 of the next round of playoffs, Hudson will go Game 5. The rest will be filled in by either Minor or Maholm in games 2 and/or 4.

BravesBanter.com

September 28th, 2012
12:35 pm

A little 2013 Forecast… What the Braves SHOULD do and what they will do with their outfield of Jason Heyward, Michael Bourn, and Martin Prado…. Are long term Extensions in their immediate future with Atlanta? Find out in the 2013 Roster Preview section at >>> BravesBanter.com<<< BRAVESBANTER.COM

PEPr

September 28th, 2012
1:13 pm

Guys and Gals:
Despite his offensive struggles this year, Danny Uggla has played Second Base like a man possessed. No one turns the pivot as well since Mazzaroski (sp). Thats the Danny I’ve seen. Thanks.

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