The Atlanta Braves were supposed get an offensive boost when Brian McCann started for the first time since catching the flu last Tuesday. Instead, they got a rough outing out of Tommy Hanson en route to a 8-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, their eighth straight.
Hanson did well to work around bouts of trouble in the first two innings, but things got dicey when he allowed four runs in the third inning, starting with a grounder from Matt Adams that Hanson and Eric Hinske could not communicate to load the bases. With Yadier Molina batting, McCann and Hanson got crossed up, resulting in Hanson's curveball getting to the backstop to score Matt Holliday.
Molina would finish his at-bat with an RBI-single, which was followed by Daniel Descalso hitting a two-run homer to cap the four-run frame. Rafael Furcal would hit a homer in the fourth in the midst of a three-hit day.
Hanson would give up a season-high six runs and eight hits in a season-short 3 1/3 innings, adding to the Braves' pitching troubles of late. In the last five games, Braves starters have thrown 25 1/3 innings with a 7.82 ERA.
The Braves had just swept the Cardinals two weeks ago and even won their series with the Tampa Bay Rays before getting swept by the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals. They have lost 11 of their last 17 games.
A week ago, the Braves had the National League's second best record. They are now tied for last place in the East with the Philadelphia Phillies. Their eight-game losing streak is their longest since a nine-game streak in April 2010.
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