MILWAUKEE -- Juan Francisco and Aramis Ramirez each had RBI singles and Donovan Hand threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings in his first major-league start as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Atlanta Braves 2-0 Saturday afternoon at Miller Park.
With Marco Estrada still recovering from a strained hamstring, Hand was tagged for the spot start after posting a 3.38 ERA in eight relief appearances after his contract was selected May 26 from Triple-A Nashville, where he went 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in 16 appearances.
Hand showed no signs of nervousness, facing the minimum through the first four innings while striking out three. He ran into trouble in the fifth when B.J. Upton reached on a ground-rule double. Brian McCann flew out to center next but Hand threw a wild pitch on ball four to Dan Uggla, moving Upton to third.
Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke opted to turn to his bullpen and Burke Badenhop (1-3) ended the threat when Chris Johnson grounded into a force at second.
Hand's final line was impressive: just two hits, a walk, three strikeouts and a wild pitch while throwing 33 of his 52 pitches for strikes.
His Atlanta counterpart, right-hander Tim Hudson (4-7), took advantage of Ryan Braun's absence and scattered seven hits over six innings with four walks -- one intentional -- and a hit batter while striking out four.
The Brewers took the lead on Hudson in the fourth, following Carlos Gomez's fly out to center with three straight singles to go ahead 1-0. Milwaukee again used small ball in the fifth when Norichkia Aoki drew his second of three walks on the day to open the inning and, after Jean Segura singled and Gomez popped out to first, scored on Ramirez's base hit to left.
The two runs turned out to be enough for Milwaukee, which got shutout efforts from Badenhop, Michael Gonzalez and John Axford out of the bullpen.
Francisco Rodriguez caught a break in the ninth inning when Andrelton Simmons' line drive to left bounced off the wall. Simmons slipped between first and second and was nearly caught trying to get back to first but Francisco bobbled Rickie Weeks' cutoff throw, according to umpire Manny Gonzalez.
Rodriguez recovered, retiring Freddie Freeman and B.J. Upton to close out his sixth save of the season and the 300th of his career.
Notes: Brewers RHP Marco Estrada will make a rehabilitation start today with Single-A Wisconsin. Estrada has been on the disabled list since straining his left hamstring June 5. ... Atlanta has lost eight straight games in Milwaukee dating back to April 2011. During that streak, the Braves have scored just nine runs and have been shut out four times. ... Caleb Gindl had a pinch-hit single in the sixth for his first career hit. ... Atlanta RHP Brandon Beachy is expected to begin a throwing program sometime in the next few days, according to manager Fredi Gonzalez. Beachy hasn't pitched since undergoing Tommy John surgery a year ago. ... Hand was the ninth starting pitcher used by Milwaukee this season.