The Atlanta Braves are looking to finish their road trip with a winning record before starting a stretch of 10 consecutive games at Turner Field. Not having to face Miami Marlins star shortstop Hanley Ramirez could make that easier.
Atlanta takes on a Marlins team that sent Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a stunning deal Wednesday morning, hours before the club faced the Braves in the finale of a three-game set.Disappointing Miami made its second big trade in as many days by shipping out Ramirez, a former NL batting champion. The third baseman was dealt along with reliever Randy Choate for pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and a minor leaguer, ending his seven-year stint with the franchise.The Marlins sent pitcher Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante to Detroit on Tuesday.The Braves (53-44) should be happy to not face Ramirez as they look to finish their seven-game trip with a winning mark after beating Miami 4-3 on Tuesday. They'll turn to Tommy Hanson (10-5, 4.50 ERA) to help them do so before opening a homestand that includes series against last-place clubs Philadelphia and Houston, which surround a four-game set against the Marlins (45-52).Hanson, the team leader in wins and strikeouts with 103, is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in three starts at Miami, and he owns a 7-2 record and 3.94 ERA in 11 road outings this season.The right-hander, however, was battered Friday, surrendering a season-high eight runs and two homers with four walks in four innings of an 11-10 win in 11 at Washington."I need to do a better job," Hanson told the team's official website. "If I give up solo home runs, I'm fine with that. It's three-run home runs that kill you."He's given up a career-high 19 homers on the season."I think a lot of them I have been trying to be aggressive," Hanson said. "When nobody is on base, I want you to put it in play. That has happened a lot. I'm just trying to be a lot more aggressive and not walk guys. But as soon as guys get on, I start to nitpick and I just need to stay aggressive."Hanson needs one win to match his career high set in 2009 and equaled last year.Chipper Jones is batting .364 in his last 24 games, a stretch that has seen him manage at least one hit in 22 of those contests, including the first two meetings of this series.The All-Star third baseman is 15 for 44 (.341) with four homers and five doubles against Ricky Nolasco (8-8, 4.55), Miami's scheduled starter.The Marlins have dropped six of seven while averaging 1.7 runs and hitting .146 with runners in scoring position.Jose Reyes has been a rare offensive bright spot lately, batting .333 with three homers in his past 12 games after connecting for a two-run shot Tuesday. He has four hits in this series and is 5 for 13 with two doubles versus Hanson.Nolasco is 1-4 with a 5.40 ERA in his last eight home starts against the Braves and 5-8 with a 5.03 ERA in 20 overall starts versus Atlanta.The right-hander was charged with a 7-0 loss at Atlanta on May 17, surrendering four runs and seven hits before getting pulled after four innings.Nolasco hasn't been much better recently, losing his last two starts while giving up eight runs in 11 1/3 innings.Braves catcher Brian McCann is batting .347 (17 for 49) with six homers when facing Nolasco, his most against any pitcher.