(Reuters) - The Atlanta Braves handed Tampa Bay a rare home loss when they chased top pitcher James Shields after six innings in a 5-3 victory over the Rays on Friday.
Freddie Freeman's run scoring double in the fifth put Atlanta ahead to stay and the Braves added another run two batters later for a 4-2 advantage.
Martin Prado made it a 5-2 game with a seventh inning homer as the Braves, who lead the National League East, won for the 10th time in 12 road games.
Tampa Bay, chasing Baltimore for the American League East's top spot, lost at home for only the fifth time in 19 games this season.
Shields (6-2) had been bidding for an AL leading seventh win but lasted just six innings, giving up four runs and seven hits while striking out eight.
Prado said the Braves watched a lot of video to determine how to bat against Shields.
"One idea that I had was to take as many pitches as I could to see which kind of plan they had against me," Prado told reporters. "I'm glad I got that homer in that (seventh), because we know the game is close and that Tampa always bounces back in tight games."
But the Rays could manage only one run in an eighth inning rally and went down in order in the ninth.
Atlanta's Tommy Hanson (5-3) got the win, allowing two runs and six hits over seven innings.
"All the starters feel like at some point we're going to get some runs," he said of the Braves' four runs in five innings. "So giving up two in three innings is not that big of a deal."
Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones is unlikely to play in the remaining two games of the interleague series after he was hit in the calf by a one-hop liner by Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton in the third inning.
The 40-year-old Jones, who is retiring after the season, stayed in the game through the seventh before leaving.
(Reporting By Gene Cherry in Raleigh North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)