Hanson, McLouth lift Braves over punchless Reds

Published 1:03 am Friday, June 19, 2009

CINCINNATI — For the third time in their three-games series, Atlanta outhit the Cincinnati Reds. This time, Tommy Hanson and Nate McLouth made it pay off with a win.

Hanson allowed three hits over six impressive innings and McLouth homered and drove in four runs, sending the Braves to a 7-0 victory over the punchless Reds on Thursday.

One of baseball’s top pitching prospects, Hanson got his first major league hit and RBI. Matt Diaz also homered for the Braves, who snapped a four-game skid and avoided a sweep in Cincinnati.

‘‘Hopefully, I can keep building on this,’’ Hanson said. ‘‘I told myself to slow down after the second inning. (Pitching coach) Roger (McDowell) came out and told me the same thing. I cleared my mind and was able to control my fastball better.’’

Hanson (2-0), who made his big league debut with a no-decision against Milwaukee on June 7, walked four and hit a batter with a pitch. But he escaped two jams in his third career start.

‘‘That was the best start Hanson had,’’ Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. ‘‘He got himself in trouble, but he pitched out of it. He threw a lot of pitches early. I didn’t think he was going to make it to the fifth inning, but he settled down and got a lot of first-pitch outs.’’

The right-hander loaded the bases in the second on two walks and a hit batter, but wriggled out of trouble by striking out pitcher Matt Maloney and Willy Taveras.

‘‘He was kind of effectively wild,’’ Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ‘‘We had the bases loaded against him, but we didn’t have the right people up — Maloney and Willy, who’s not swinging the bat well.’’

The Reds also had runners on first and second with nobody out in the fifth, but Taveras fouled out and Diaz ran down Alex Gonzalez’s bid for an RBI double in the left-center gap. Brandon Phillips flied out to end the threat.

The top six hitters in the Reds’ lineup were a combined 2 for 21, less than 24 hours after their top five batters went 0 for 17 in Cincinnati’s 4-3 win Wednesday night. The Braves also outhit the Reds in each of the first two games of the series, but Baker wasn’t considering shaking up the lineup.

‘‘I don’t think I can shake it up any more than I have been shaking it up,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve been shaking it up all year long.’’

Braves 7, Reds 0

Atlanta Cincinnati

ab r h bi ab r h bi

McLoth cf 5 1 2 4 Tavers cf 5 0 0 0

YEscor ss 5 0 0 0 AlGnzlz ss 4 0 0 0

C.Jones 3b 4 0 0 0 Roenck p 0 0 0 0

M.Diaz lf 4 2 2 1 Burton p 0 0 0 0

Prado 2b 3 1 1 0 BPhllps 2b 3 0 1 0

Francr rf 3 1 1 0 L.Nix lf 3 0 0 0

Ktchm 1b 3 0 0 1 Gomes ph-lf 1 0 0 0

D.Ross c 3 1 1 0 Hanign c 2 0 1 0

Hanson p 3 1 1 1 Bruce rf 3 0 0 0

Moylan p 0 0 0 0 HrstnJr 3b 4 0 1 0

GAndrs ph 1 0 0 0 ARosls 1b 3 0 1 0

MGnzlz p 0 0 0 0 Malony p 1 0 0 0

RSorin p 0 0 0 0 Fisher p 0 0 0 0

Dickrsn ph 1 0 1 0

Janish ss 1 0 0 0

Totals 34 7 8 7 Totals 31 0 5 0

Atlanta 010 123 000 — 7

Cincinnati 000 000 000 — 0

LOB—Atlanta 5, Cincinnati 10. 2B—M.Diaz (6), Prado (10). HR—McLouth (11), M.Diaz (3). SB—Francoeur (4), B.Phillips (8), Dickerson (3). CS—B.Phillips (5). S—Maloney. SF—Kotchman.

IP H R ER BB SO

Atlanta

Hanson W,2-0 6 3 0 0 4 2

Moylan 1 1 0 0 0 1

M.Gonzalez 1 1 0 0 0 1

R.Soriano 1 0 0 0 0 3

Cincinnati

Maloney L,0-2 5 2-3 6 6 6 2 5

Fisher 1 1-3 2 1 1 2 2

Roenicke 1 0 0 0 0 1

Burton 1 0 0 0 0 0

HBP—by Hanson (A.Rosales). Umpires—Home, Paul Nauert; First, Paul Schrieber; Second, Ed Rapuano; Third, Joe West. T—3:15. A—24,657 (42,319).