x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Hanson grinds Yankees down

Rookie pitcher Tommy Hanson overcame control issues to shut down the visiting New York Yankees and give the Atlanta Braves a 4-0 victory on Tuesday.

Atlanta Braves' starting pitcher Tommy Hanson works in the first inning against the New York Yankees in Atlanta on Tuesday.
Atlanta Braves' starting pitcher Tommy Hanson works in the first inning against the New York Yankees in Atlanta on Tuesday.

Rookie pitcher Tommy Hanson overcame control issues to shut down the visiting New York Yankees and give the Atlanta Braves a 4-0 victory on Tuesday. The 22-year-old walked five batters in five-and-one-third innings but pitched his way out of trouble and improved to 3-0 with the victory in just his fourth career major league start. "I was pretty pumped up. I felt like I made some good pitches, and I felt like I made some not-so-good pitches," Hanson said. "I definitely battled the whole game. It just feels good to come out of here with a win."

Hanson was relieved in the sixth inning by Peter Moylan, who forced New York's Derek Jeter to ground in a double play to end the Yankees' final scoring threat. Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano breezed through the final two innings for the Braves to preserve the team's second successive shut-out. "Our team is capable of throwing shut-outs," said the Braves manager Bobby Cox. "We've had good pitching performances all year long."

Catcher Brian McCann led the Braves with three hits including a solo home run in the eighth inning, his seventh of the year. Atlanta scored three runs against the starter Wang Chien-ming, who pitched five innings and allowed six hits. New York's slugger Alex Rodriguez continued his recent struggles at the plate by going hitless in four at-bats. "We didn't hit, we haven't hit, that's why we've been losing," Jeter said. "It's nothing deeper than that."

Elsewhere, Chase Utley homered and drove in four runs as the Philadelphia Phillies routed the Tampa Bay Rays 10-1 in a replay of last season's World Series. The Boston Red Sox scored six runs in the eighth inning on their way to an 11-3 win over the Washington Nationals. * Reuters