Tommy Hanson fans career-high 14 as Braves top Astros

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The Braves have never given Tommy Hanson a whole lot of help since he debuted two years, but he’s consistently gotten just enough this year.  On Sunday, he improved to 8-4 by striking out a career-high 14 in the Braves’ 4-1 victory over the Astros.

Hanson pitched seven innings and allowed one run on three hits.  The 14 strikeouts topped his previous best by three.  He entered with five career 10-strikeout games, with his high total of 11 coming against the Gaints on July 20, 2009.

More than just run support, it was bullpen support that was a problem for Hanson in the past, most notably when he went 2-6 despite a 2.51 ERA in 15 starts after the All-Star break last year.  Through 14 starts this year, the bullpen has blown one lead for him.

Hanson is currently third in the NL with a 2.48 ERA, fifth with a 1.03 WHIP and sixth with 89 strikeouts.  Only Roy Halladay with nine has more victories.  Halladay would certainly be the Cy Young choice if the balloting were held today, but Hanson would be right there with Cole Hamels and his Braves teammate Jair Jurrjens as a candidates to place second or third.

Report: Phillies place Justin Bour on waivers

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies have placed first baseman Justin Bour on waivers. The Phillies are creating space on the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 protection deadline on Tuesday.

Bour, 30, opened the season with the Marlins but was traded to the Phillies in August in exchange for minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills. Overall, Bour hit .227/.341/.404 with 20 home runs and 59 RBI in 501 plate appearances.

Bour doesn’t really have a spot on the Phillies’ roster considering he is strictly a first baseman and the Phillies already have Carlos Santana. The Phillies may try to trade Santana to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base from left field.

If Bour clears waivers, he can reject an outright assignment to the minor leagues and become a free agent. However, considering how slow-moving the market for bat-only 1B/DH types has been in recent years, Bour may have trouble latching on with a new team on a guaranteed major league contract. If Bour is claimed, the claiming team will be responsible for paying him as he enters his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projects Bour to earn a salary of $5.2 million in 2019.