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Tommy Hanson Struggles as Atlanta Braves Lose 11-7 to New York Mets

August 7th, 2011 at 2:38 AM
By Jonathan McCullough

Citi Field has proven to be a great pitcher's park in its short tenure as the home of the New York Mets. This was clearly not the case Saturday night.

Tommy Hanson had his worst outing of the season as the Atlanta Braves lost 11-7 to the Mets. Hanson, who has struggled mightily since the All-Star Break, gave up seven earned runs on eight hits and two walks in just 3 1/3 innings. Most of the damage came via the long ball, as Hanson gave up four home runs to a team not usually known for its power. Justin Turner, Josh Thole, and Jason Bay each hit home runs off of Hanson, with Turner belting two homers to bring his season total to four.

"It was all location," Hanson said. "I just didn't make pitches, and when I didn't they hit them."

Despite being given a 5-2 cushion, Hanson relinquished the lead, and the Braves were never able to come back. Hanson was quick to blame his location as the reason for his poor outing, but he did hint that his shoulder was giving him trouble again.

“I’ve never made an excuse and I’m not going to," Hanson said when asked about his shoulder. "I felt good enough to go out there and help my team win the game."

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Hanson has not mentioned any injury, but instead also pointed to poor location as the reason for Hanson's struggles.

The offense, however, was a silver lining to the game. Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman both extended their hitting streaks, which are now at 27 and 20 games respectively. Uggla, who went 3-for-5 with a homer, and Freeman became the first teammates in Braves franchise history to have 20-game hitting streaks at the same time.

“It’s awesome," Uggla said about the hitting streaks. "We’re pulling for each other. I love watching him hit, man. He’s a special kid. I’m loving seeing him doing what he’s doing. I’m sure he’s just as excited to see me do what I’m doing. The bottom line is we’ve got to win. We’ve got to get back on the same track we were on the first half.”

Chipper Jones, in his first start since injuring his quadriceps muscle, recorded a single and RBI in four at-bats. Michael Bourn also continued his strong play since joining the Braves by going 3-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base.

The Braves will look to win the rubber match of the series Sunday afternoon, as Mike Minor (1-2, 4.59 ERA) will replace the injured Jair Jurrjens to face Dillon Gee (10-3, 3.69 ERA) at 1:10 EDT.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla, Freddie Freeman, Fredi Gonzalez, Jason Bay, Josh Thole, Justin Turner, Michael Bourn, MLB, Tommy Hanson

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