Braves pitching phenom Tommy Hanson is looking forward to spending the All-Star break moving into a new Buckhead apartment with fellow rookie Kris Medlen.
But before he can relax, the National League's Rookie of the Month for June has more business to take care of today in Colorado, where Hanson will get his first taste of hitter-friendly Coors Field.
"I'm not going to change anything," he said of his start against the Rockies. "Just focus on keeping the ball down, which I really try to do anywhere.
"Maybe I'll put a little more emphasis on that."
Hanson (4-0, 2.25 ERA) is scheduled to face Rockies ace Aaron Cook (8-3, 3.76 ERA) in the opener of a four-game series that will take the teams to the All-Star break.
It'll be the seventh start for Hanson. He is 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his past five starts and had a 26-inning scoreless streak snapped Saturday afternoon when Nationals slugger Adam Dunn homered against him in Washington.
He gave up one run and three hits in seven innings against the Nationals and got no decision in a 5-3 Braves loss — the first time they lost when he pitched.
"I wasn't thinking about [the streak]," Hanson said. "I knew about it, but as soon as you start thinking about that, you stop thinking about attacking hitters, and you're thinking, 'Don't give up hits. Don't give up runs.' You can't be like that."
Similarly, he said he won't think about Coors Field and the vastness of its outfield — conducive to extra-base hits — or the thin air that enhances the distance of fly balls.
At the end of this weekend, he can look forward to getting moved from the apartment he and Medlen shared in Lawrenceville to their new digs. They began the season with Class AAA Gwinnett.
They thought about staying in the old place, but Hanson said the commute to Turner Field was becoming a bit much.
"It was 40-45 minutes both ways," he said. "At first we were like, 'It's fine; we're going to Turner Field.' But eventually it was like, 'It's 45 minutes.'"
Third baseman Chipper Jones reported progress with his strained groin Wednesday and said he would try to play today at Colorado.
"It's getting better," said Jones, who missed games Tuesday and Wednesday against the Cubs.
He felt a twinge in his groin running on a fourth-inning single Monday. He played the rest of that game but not since.
Center field prospect Jordan Schafer, still bothered by a sore left wrist, was scheduled to have a CAT scan Wednesday as the search for a cause continued.
An MRI done Tuesday showed nothing that seemed a likely source for discomfort that Schafer has dealt with most of the season.
He hurt his wrist on a swing in the Braves' home opener and played with it wrapped for two months, while batting .204 with two homers and 63 strikeouts in 167 at-bats.
Schafer was demoted to Gwinnett, where he has twice aggravated the left wrist or hand while batting during the past month.
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