video thumbnail

COL@ATL: Hanson fans eight over 5 2/3 frames of work

With the Braves' 2-1 loss Monday night, they were eliminated from the National League East race. Having already clinched a spot in the NL Wild Card game and the right to host it Friday, Atlanta's final two regular-season games will serve as tuneups for the playoffs.

The Braves' elimination will give manager Fredi Gonzalez the chance to rest some of his regulars, though he said the Braves won't pack it in during the regular season's final two days.

Gonzalez has mentioned third baseman Chipper Jones, first baseman Freddie Freeman and right fielder Jason Heyward as players who will likely get some off-days now that the division is out of reach. Even though the Braves will have a day off before the Wild Card game, Gonzalez wants to make sure his players are fresh.

"You're in [October], you're not in April or May," Gonzalez said. "Guys are banged up and nicked and bruised. Everybody's got a little something."

While the Braves prepare for the postseason, the Pirates are finishing out their 20th consecutive losing season. But Monday's victory was the Pirates' 78th of the season, giving them a chance to match their highest win total of the last 20 years. Pittsburgh won 79 games in 1997.

The Pirates will turn to right-hander Kevin Correia, who could be making his final start as a Pirate. Correia is eligible to be a free agent after this season.

Since returning to the rotation at the start of September, Correia has been a key starting pitcher for the Pirates. He has a 3.99 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings over five starts since his return.

"There's a lot to like about Kevin," manager Clint Hurdle said. "It goes back to hunger, that can be invaluable. Kevin loves to compete -- at everything -- one of the things that strengthened him [when booted from the rotation for a month]. There's not a game when he takes the mound that he doesn't think he will win -- can't say that about every starting pitcher I've ever had."

Right-hander Tommy Hanson will start for the Braves. He is 13-9 with a 4.38 ERA this season.

Braves: Jones expected not to play Tuesday
• Jones set a season high Monday, starting his seventh straight game. Jones, who is bothered by a myriad of knee ailments, pushed himself to play every day in the Braves' final homestand last week and played again Monday to take advantage of his last chance to face a left-handed starter before the postseason.

"I'm not feeling real good at the plate and I feel like I need to get a couple [at-bats] off of a lefty," Jones said. "This will be my last chance before Friday. So I'll probably take tomorrow off."

Jones went 0-for-3 with a walk on Monday.

• Second baseman Dan Uggla missed Monday's game due to swelling in his right hand. He is expected to return for Tuesday's game.

He cut his hand last Tuesday when he reached in a tub of ice and was jabbed by something sharp. The cut required stitches, which have since been replaced by three staples.

Pirates: McCutchen still eyeing history
• The National League batting title may be out of reach for center fielder Andrew McCutchen, but he still leads the NL in hits with 193 and runs with 107. He is attempting to become the first Pirate to lead the league in both categories since Hall of Fame right fielder Paul Waner did so in 1934.

Worth noting
• Uggla is 5-for-17 with a home run against Correia. Comments