Hanson overcomes seven walks to down Fish

Hanson overcomes seven walks to down Fish

Hanson overcomes seven walks to down Fish
MIAMI -- Seldom does one see the kind of comeback victory that Braves notched at the beginning of this road trip. Tommy Hanson would not mind never again experiencing the kind of start he produced at the end of it.

Still, even with Hanson producing one of the most unusual starts of his young career on Wednesday afternoon, the Braves cruised to a 7-1 win with the help of Juan Francisco and Michael Bourn, who both hit two-run home runs off Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco.

"It was definitely not ideal, but we got the win and that's what counts," Hanson said after allowing one run despite issuing seven walks, recording seven strikeouts and surrendering seven stolen bases in his stress-filled five-inning effort.

"If we were in Vegas, that would be a nice line where you walk seven, give up seven stolen bases and have seven strikeouts," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "That's a pretty good line with slot machines, but that's not something you want to do every fifth day."

Hanson became just the 11th Major League pitcher since 1921 to record seven strikeouts and issue seven walks while working exactly five innings. The only other pitchers to do so and record a win were Vida Blue (1974) David Clyde (1973) and Ray Culp (1969). The only other members of this group to allow one run or fewer were Boof Bonser (2007) and Daniel Cabrera (2006).

"I have no idea how I did that," Hanson said. "I don't even know if that has ever happened. I was obviously having a hard time locating my fastball and throwing strikes when I needed to. I've got some work to do. The good thing is we still won, and hopefully I can do a better job next time."

The Braves rallied from a nine-run, sixth-inning deficit when Hanson allowed eight runs in four innings against the Nationals on Friday. He has struggled in each of his first three starts since the All-Star break, but believes he will be able to quickly make the necessary adjustments to regain his command.

Hanson allowed leadoff doubles in both of the first two innings and the Marlins put a runner at second base with fewer than two outs in each of the first five innings. Yet their only run came courtesy of Justin Ruggiano's two-out third-inning double, which would have scored two runs had shortstop Paul Janish's relay throw not denied Carlos Lee's attempt to score from first base.

Taking advantage of Hanson's slow delivery, the Marlins notched seven stolen bases -- the most recorded by a Major League team in a game this year. Still more important than the stolen bases might have been the caught stealing charged to Jose Reyes when he got caught trying to steal third after drawing the first of the three walks Hanson issued to begin the bottom of the third inning.

"The game was pretty confusing," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "In five innings, we steal seven bases, walk like seven times, three doubles and we score one [run]. Sometimes you think about it and shake your head like, 'How does that happen? How do things happen like that?' For five innings we felt like we could score any time, any moment -- and we didn't."

Wednesday marked the ninth time since 1922 that the Braves allowed at least seven stolen bases in a game. The only other time they had won while doing so was on Aug. 22, 1948, against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

"Going back to my people from SABR, who say stolen bases don't equal runs -- and today it came true," Gonzalez said. "But it's not a real good feeling when guys are running all around the basepaths."

Things calmed down once Kris Medlen entered in the sixth inning and limited the Marlins to just a single walk over three scoreless frames. Gonzalez said there is a chance Medlen could continue to be used in similar situations to stretch his arm out to potentially be a starter. But this would obviously depend on how some of the games play out over the next few days and weeks.

Francisco highlighted his three-hit performance in the fourth inning with a two-run home run that traveled nearly to the top of the upper deck above the right-field wall. The 24-year-old third baseman has found more consistency since dedicating more time to work with hitting coach Greg Walker this month. He has homered in three of his past 18 at-bats.

Jason Heyward padded the Braves lead with an opposite-field home run in the eighth inning and also doubled ahead of Freddie Freeman's RBI single in the fourth inning. Bourn had added to Nolasco's troubles in the fifth inning, when he drilled his eighth home run of the season into the bullpen beyond the right-field wall.

The offensive support was certainly much appreciated by Hanson.

"It takes a little bit of pressure off, but I still kept walking guys," Hanson said. "But when you get six or seven runs, it makes it a lot easier."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.