MLB: Hanson on hot streak; Braves win, 2-1
By Paul Newberry
ATLANTA ó Tommy Hanson was very much aware of who he’d be facing in these two starts.
It didn’t faze him a bit.
The big right-hander became the first NL rookie to beat the New York Yankees and Boston in consecutive starts, throwing two-hit ball over six scoreless innings, and homers by Chipper Jones and Garret Anderson carried Atlanta past the Red Sox 2-1 on Sunday.
The Braves prevented a Boston sweep, and Hanson (4-0) excelled despite a bout with the flu that put his start in doubt even as he was riding to the ballpark with teammate Kris Medlen.
“I told Kris he’d better be ready to pitch,” Hanson said. “I felt horrible waking up this morning. Driving to field, I didn’t feel good at all. But once I got going, got my blood flowing, I felt a lot better.”
The Red Sox were limited to a pair of fourth-inning singles by the 22-year-old rookie.
Hanson stretched his scoreless streak to 20 innings, including 51/3 innings against the Yankees.
“If he was sick,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said, “I really don’t want to see him when he’s not sick.”
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hanson was the first NL rookie to pull off the Yankees-Red Sox double.
“Facing them and getting two wins is definitely awesome, especially back to back,” he said. “It’s definitely been fun.”
Peter Moylan escaped a seventh-inning jam caused by shaky Braves defense, getting Nick Green on an inning-ending double play with runners at first and third. Rafael Soriano pitched a perfect eighth, then Mike Gonzalez endured an eventful ninth for his ninth save in 12 chances.
The Braves botched a rundown, and Jason Varitek kept it going by blooping a two-out, run-scoring single to center. With two strikes on Jacoby Ellsbury, a fan ran on the field and had to be tackled by security.
After a delay of several minutes while the handcuffed man was hauled off, Ellsbury went down swinging to end the game.
Jones, mired in a 10-of-60 slump, took advantage when Brad Penny hung a breaking ball in the first, driving an opposite-field homer into the seats in left. It was the first homer since June 8 for Jones, whose average has slipped from .335 to .289 during his slide.
“I got into some bad habits,” Jones said.
Anderson made it 2-0 in the fourth, driving one out in right for his fourth homer.
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