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(Friday, May 18th)
Final Score: Atlanta 5, Tampa Bay 3
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - With two hits, including a solo home run, Martin Prado registered his sixth consecutive multi-hit game to go with three runs scored, and the Atlanta Braves downed the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-3, in the opener of a three-game interleague set.
Freddie Freeman added a pair of hits, two runs batted in and a run scored for the Braves, who have won six of their last eight contests.
Tommy Hanson (5-3) surrendered two runs on six hits and two walks over seven strong frames while Craig Kimbrel notched his 12th save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth.
"He definitely has a feel for his off-speed pitches and pitched well," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said of Hanson.
B.J. Upton stung a hard one-hop infield single off of Chipper Jones' leg in the third, which caused the 40-year-old to leave the game after the seventh inning.
"It's pretty ugly right now," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Jones' leg. "Swollen up and bruised really bad...he'll have a tough time trying to play tomorrow (Saturday)."
James Shields (6-2) fanned eight but allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks for Tampa Bay, which has dropped two straight on the heels of a four- game winning streak.
Atlanta pushed across a pair of two-out runs to break a 2-2 tie in the fifth frame. Prado walked, moved to second when Shields committed a throwing error on a pickoff attempt and scored on Freeman's double to left. Brian McCann's single through the hole on the right side brought home Freeman to make it 4-2.
Prado smacked a solo shot into the seats in left to extend the Atlanta margin to 5-2 in the seventh inning.
The Rays got a run back in the eighth frame on Luke Scott's line-drive RBI single to right, which cut the deficit to 5-3, but Kimbrel needed just eight pitches in the ninth to seal the win.
The Braves tallied a two-out run in the opening frame and put across another in the second.
Prado laced an RBI double to left, which plated Freeman in the first. In the second, Jones, who reached with a leadoff single, scored on a Shields wild pitch to make it 2-0.
But Tampa Bay retaliated and plated a run apiece in the second and third innings to tied the score.
With one away and runners on second and third in the second, Dan Johnson pushed a well-placed squeeze bunt past Shields on the first-base side of the infield. Luke Scott lifted a sacrifice fly to right in the third to tied the contest.
Prado extended his hitting streak to 10 games...The Braves are 130-111 against the American League since interleague play began in 1997, the second winning percentage amongst NL teams...Atlanta is 16-6 all-time against Tampa Bay.
05/19 02:11:23 ET
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