Chipper Jones launched his 460th career home run to propel the Atlanta Braves to a 6-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday night at Turner Field. The sixth inning blast gave the Braves just enough cushion to survive a late rally by the D-Backs.
Chipper went deep off Diamondbacks starter Trevor Cahill in the sixth inning after Dan Uggla started the inning with a walk to give the Braves a 6-0 lead.
"This game is fun when you're playing well and you feel like you can go out there and do some damage," Jones said on mlb.com. "This is a big point in the season. I think for us, I need to be vocal, upbeat and producing … all of those things. That's what I'm trying to do."
Jones' first home run since May 4 gave Tommy Hanson the room he needed to secure his fourth straight win after Fredi Gonzalez challenged his pitching staff earlier in the week to start working deeper into games.
Hanson answered Gonzalez's challenge by going 6 1/3 innings and allowing three earned runs. All three runs Hanson gave up came in the seventh inning when, after giving up two one-out hits, Brian Roberts deposited a three-run homer in the left field bleachers.
Arizona would trim the lead to two runs two batters later when Jonny Venters gave up a solo home run to Chris Young. Though the Diamondbacks would threaten in the eighth when Eric O'Flaherty gave up a single and a walk, he induced Miguel Montero's double play to Dan Uggla, who had to slide to his left before popping up and throwing a strike to Andrelton Simmons.
"That shows you what kind of guy Dan Uggla is," Gonzalez said of his second baseman, who is stuck in a 7-for-52 slump. "He's been struggling offensively. But he doesn't let the bat affect him on the field. If we don't turn that, we might still be playing. Or we're behind the eight ball and we lose the game."
Craig Kimbrel did his usual routine of striking out the side in the ninth for his 22nd save.
The Braves scored at least four runs for the seventh straight game, starting with a solo home run by Jason Heyward in the first inning. It was his 12th of the year and sixth in his last 17 games.
Three of Atlanta's runs came off Cahill's struggles in the fifth inning. After Jones walked and Freeman singled, Cahill threw a sacrifice attempt by Simmons into center field while trying to get the force out, allowing Jones to score. After walking Hanson to load the bases, Michael Bourn and Martin Prado each hit sacrifice flies.
Hanson's solid performance came after Tim Hudson held Arizona to one run over eight innings. He struck out five and walked one, giving up four earned runs or less for his fifth straight start.Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Chipper Jones, Craig Kimbrel, Dan Uggla, Jason Heyward, Jonny Venters, MLB, Tommy Hanson