The Braves lost 3-1 to Pirates Monday afternoon, as the Phillies were losing to the Marlins, blowing an opportunity to pad their lead. Tommy Hanson had another strong outing, allowing only four hits and walking two through six innings. Three runs scored, only two of which were earned. Both of those were on Neil Walker’s sixth inning home run, really the only mistake Hanson made on an afternoon where he was otherwise stellar. Andrew McCutchen had previously scored thanks to David Ross’ throwing error and groundout by Jose Tabata in the first.
By the way, great quote from Bobby Cox today after the game. After being asked about the Braves’ struggles on the road, he responded “I don’t know, I guess they score more runs than we do. One more run and they win.” Really, I don’t know why the man has to retire.
The Braves certainly had their chances. In the second inning, the Braves loaded the bases with no outs, but the inning ended with the Braves scoring their only run on a David Ross sac fly. Ross would strike out in two other at-bats before McCann would pinch hit for him later. McCann came up at another critical stage, with runners on first and second only one out, but he and McLouth both grounded out on the infield, stranding both runners.
After Heyward extended the 9th inning with a two out single, bringing the tying run to the plate, Martin Prado would make the game’s final out with a flyball that died on the warning track. Jason Heyward, at least, remains on fire as he went 2-4 with a walk in five plate appearances. Prado, however, had an overall miserable day, as he went 0-5 and stranded five runnners. Three of those were in the 7th inning as the Braves saw a familiar face-Chris Resop. Prado came up with the bases loaded, but made contact as he attempted to check his swing while falling down. The ball was a soft roller down the third base line which ordinarily would have been a base hit, but Prado was unable to recover and reach first in time.
All told, the Braves stranded 11 men on base en route to scoring just one run.