Red-hot Braves beat Pirates

Red-hot Braves beat Pirates

April 28th, 2012 by Associated Press in Sports - Professional

ATLANTA - Tommy Hanson allowed one run in six innings, Dan Uggla and Chipper Jones came through in a four-run seventh, and the streaking Atlanta Braves defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 Friday night.

The Braves won for the 13th time in 16 games after an 0-4 start - their worst since 1988.

Hanson (3-2) worked around six hits and three walks, his only blemish an RBI single by Garrett Jones in the fourth. Kris Medlen worked the final three innings, earning his first career save. Uggla and Jones drove in two runs apiece in the seventh to break open a 2-1 game.

A.J. Burnett (1-1) went six innings for the Pirates, pitching well but not enough to prevent his eighth loss in nine career decisions at Turner Field.

The Braves were clinging to a 2-1 lead when they broke it open against the Pittsburgh bullpen in the seventh. After Tony Watson gave up a single and walked consecutive batters to load the bases, the Pirates brought in right-hander Evan Meek to face Uggla.

Bad move. Uggla lined a double to right-center, two runs coming home to make it 4-1. Chipper Jones followed with a hit past the drawn-in third baseman, driving in two more runs.

Burnett matched Hanson's line as far as hits (six) and walks (three). But the Braves manufactured a couple of runs against the right-hander, who hasn't won at Turner Field since Oct. 7, 2001, with the Marlins. He has lost six straight decisions in Atlanta.

The Braves pounced when Tyler Pastornicky walked in the third. Hanson put down a sacrifice bunt, the runner moved to third on Michael Bourn's groundout, and Martin Prado came through with the two-out single to right.

Atlanta was even more resourceful in the fourth. Jason Heyward walked with two outs, stole second and raced home when Pastornicky lined a hit into right-center, the ball just clearing the glove of leaping second baseman Neil Walker.

The Pirates scored their run in the top half of the fourth. Andrew McCutchen singled, stole second and scored on Garrett Jones' run-scoring single. The Pirates were poised for a really big inning when Hanson walked Pedro Alvarez and Casey McGehee to load the bases with one out, but Rod Barajas grounded into a double play.

The Braves ended the seventh and eighth with stellar defensive plays.

Uggla went flying out into short center to make a diving grab on a Nate McLouth popup, managing to hang on even after Pastornicky tumbled over him. Then it was Jones, three days removed from his 40th birthday, making a diving catch on a liner by McCutchen.

Hudson set Sunday

Jair Jurrjens, a 2011 All-Star who was sent to the minors after a miserable start, will make his debut for Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday at Toledo. That same day, Tim Hudson makes his season debut for the Braves after recovering from back surgery.

Braves catcher Brian McCann left Friday's game after the fifth with a strained muscle in his right side. He was listed as day to day. In the second of four games at Turner Field, Pittsburgh will send Erik Bedard (0-4) to the mound against Atlanta's Randall Delgado (2-1) today.