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game-recap-81110 | August | 2010 Articles

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Game Recap - 8/11/10

Written by Joe Lucia on .

Braves 8 (66-48), Astros 2 (48-65) WP: Wagner (6-2) LP: Lyon (6-5) Another close game...for 9 innings at least. Tommy Hanson started for the Braves today and was, quite frankly, magnificent. He allowed only 1 unearned run in his 7 innings of work, with a pair of hits and walks to go along with his 4 strikeouts. Tommy also had more groundball outs than flyball outs, which is something he's always needed to get down pat a little better. The only inning Hanson really got into any trouble was the 4th. After setting down the first 9 batters in order, Hanson walked Michael Bourn, who stole second. Hanson then had Bourn picked off going to third, but dropped a throw in the rundown, allowing Bourn to remain safe at second. He then predictably stole third, and after a Jeff Keppinger walk, scored on a single by Hunter Pence. Hanson would then set down 11 of the final 12 batters he faced. Talk about a dominant performance...Jonny Venters pitched a scoreless 8th to give Billy Wagner a save opportunity in the 9th...which he blew, though it wasn't really in epic fashion. Pence was once again a thorn in the Braves side, reaching on an infield single to third to leadoff the inning on a ball that Brooks Conrad didn't have a chance on. Carlos Lee singled to left, and Pence took third on the play, at Matt Diaz's throw hit Pence. He'd score on a Chris Johnson sac fly, and that was that. Tie game. Wagner wouldn't allow any more drama in the inning, thank god. Braves offense got on the board quickly in the first inning, with Melky Cabrera doubling as the second batter of the game, moving to third on a passed ball by Astros catcher Jason Castro, and scoring on an Alex Gonzalez groundout. 13 Braves would fall in a row before the 5th inning came along, where Conrad reached on an infield single. Rick Ankiel walked (doing something for once), to put 2 on for...Tommy Hanson. Hanson hit an ugly chopper that bounded over Johnson's head at third, and Conrad was able to score on the play to give the Braves a 2-1 lead. The Braves would strand Matt Diaz and David Ross in the 6th and 7th inning after each doubled, and the offense did nothing until the 10th...where magic happened. Ankiel walked for the second time on the day, and moved up to second after an errant pickoff throw by Humberto Quintero went off Pedro Feliz's glove into right field. For what its worth, if Feliz hangs on...Ankiel is dead to rights at first and this inning doesn't happen. The Astros walked the pinch hitting Eric Hinske to get to Omar Infante...which ended up being a stupid move, as Infante doubled off the left field wall to bring in Ankiel and give the Braves the lead. The inning wasn't over then though...Cabrera got intentionally walked to load the bases for Gonzalez, who singled in Diory Hernandez (pinch running for Hinske), to make it a 4-2 game. And then...Brian McCann steps in to pinch hit, and absolutely obliterates a Jeff Fulchino pitch into the right field seats. Its 8-2, and the wind is totally out of the sails of the crowd at Minute Maid Park. Takashi Saito would close the game out for the Braves to seal up the team's second series win in a row. The win today brings the lead in the east up to 3 games, pending the result of the Phillies-Dodgers came tonight in Philly. Chad Billingsley on the hill for LA, and the Braves' chief rivals counter with the newly acquired Roy Oswalt. I'd feel very confident if the Dodgers were able to win these next 2 games...well, maybe not so much, since LA's next opponent is...the Braves! Funny how that works out. They'll be venturing to Atlanta over the weekend, and the first game of the series will pit Hiroki Kuroda against Tim Hudson. Gotta like the home team's odds in that one. Now, what are we going to do on the offday tomorrow...I dunno, I'll think of something. No Braves baseball for the next 49 hours...need to find something to keep myself occupied!

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