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October 3, 2012

Hanson not sharp in Braves' 5-1 loss to Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Tommy Hanson completed a mediocre regular season on a disappointing note.

Now, he's left to wonder if he'll make the Atlanta Braves' postseason roster.

Hanson (13-10) allowed five runs on nine hits with six strikeouts in six innings of a 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday. He had gone almost two months between wins before a strong outing in his previous start.

"It's not the way I wanted to finish — but it is what it is," Hanson said. "It kind of got away from me at times and I've got to make adjustments and get better. My fastball command was there at times then I lost it."

After July 30, Hanson finished the regular season 1-5 with a 4.99 ERA in his final nine starts.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez would not commit to a projected postseason pitching plan, but it's a foregone conclusion Hanson will not be part of the starting rotation.

"When his fastball command isn't on is when he gets hit," Braves catcher David Ross said. "But he's a valuable pitcher for us. His slider was a little flat tonight and his fastball command was just OK. He needs to command his fastball better at times and hold runners a little better than he did tonight but Tommy has been of our better pitchers this year. He's one of the few guys who has been there all year for us."

A day after being eliminated from the NL East division title race, the wild-card Braves rested several regulars and shuffled players in and out of the lineup throughout the game. Atlanta will host the NL wild-card game Friday.

"It was good to get (reserves) at bats to keep them sharp," Gonzalez said. "We're going to have a lot more position players on the roster for Friday's game than the other rounds so I feel it's important that we get them at bats."

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