MIAMI (AP) - A pitcher from Double-A gave the slumping Florida Marlins a surprising lift by allowing only one hit over six innings in his major league debut Tuesday night.
They still couldn't win.
The lone hit given up by Brad Hand was a homer by Alex Gonzalez, and that was enough for the Atlanta Braves to beat Florida 1-0.
The Marlins' season-worst losing streak reached six games. Five of the defeats have been by a single run, with the offense repeatedly blowing scoring chances.
``Several times we could have won the game with one swing,' catcher John Buck said. ``We're that close.'
Manager Edwin Rodriguez said a lineup shakeup is possible, and he might even draw names from a hat.
``We're very close to that,' he said. ``The energy is there, the passion is there, the desire is there. It's just not happening. Maybe they're putting pressure on themselves.'
Hand (0-1), promoted Monday from Jacksonville, took the turn of injured ace Josh Johnson. The rookie left-hander struck out six, and the only walk he allowed was to the game's first batter, Jordan Schafer.
Florida lost despite allowing only two hits.
``We wasted another good outing by the pitching staff,' Rodriguez said. ``Brad Hand was very impressive. His poise was excellent. He looks like he's been in the big leagues for a long time.'
Hand became only the second starter since 1946 to throw at least six innings, allow one hit or less and lose in his major league debut, according to Stats LLC. The other was Mike Thompson of the Washington Senators. He gave up one hit in seven innings but lost to Baltimore on May 19, 1971.
Hand pitched before a crowd of 5,126 in his most recent minor league game, and the turnout was similar for his big league debut, although announced attendance was 13,302. The Minnesota native said the crowd included at least 15 of his friends and relatives.
``I'm very happy with what I did,' Hand said. ``It was just one bad pitch that just cost us the game, so I'm very excited.'
Tommy Hanson (7-4) pitched six innings, and three Atlanta relievers completed a four-hitter. The Marlins stranded 10 and went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
``I made pitches when they mattered,' Hanson said. ``When you get in those situations, you've got to do your best. That's all I was trying to do.'
In the first five games of the Marlins' homestand, they've left 49 men on base while batting .152 with runners in scoring position.
After Hanson walked the bases loaded in the sixth, he got Mike Stanton to ground out to end the threat.
``I was just trying to get back in the dugout with a 1-0 lead,' Hanson said.
Stanton is 2 for 17 on the homestand.
The Marlins also had a scoring threat in the first, when Chris Coghlan led off with a double, but Hanson retired the next three batters. Florida's only other hits were two singles by Buck and a single by Greg Dobbs.
Hanson allowed five walks but only two hits. He has shut out Florida in 13 innings over two starts this season.
Jonny Venters pitched a perfect eighth to lower his ERA to 0.49, and Craig Kimbrel followed with a hitless ninth for his 18th save in 22 chances.
The Braves have thrown eight shutouts, which ties them for the most in the majors.
Gonzalez's homer was his sixth, and first since May 8.
``I know I can hit homers,' he said. ``But I don't want to try every time to hit a homer, homer, homer.'
Martin Prado had Atlanta's only other hit, a single in the ninth. The Braves moved ahead of the Marlins into second place in the NL East.
``One good hit and good pitching,' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
``To get two hits and win is crazy,' Hanson said.
The game marked the return to Florida by second baseman Dan Uggla and Fredi Gonzalez, the Marlins' former manager. Both left Miami last year.
Uggla went 0 for 3, dropping his average to .170, worst in the majors.
NOTES: The Marlins hope SS Hanley Ramirez (back) will be able to resume some baseball activities by Friday, Rodriguez said. ... Coghlan went 1 for 2 with three walks and hiked his career average against Atlanta to .390.
The Associated Press News Service
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