Hudson rolls as Braves blast Nats to take series

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WASHINGTON | Tim Hudson pitched seven solid innings in another strong start against Washington and Brian McCann had four RBIs in the Atlanta Braves' 11-2 victory over the Nationals on Sunday.

Hudson (1-0) gave up one run and three hits, struck out five and walked one. He didn’t allow a baserunner after Danny Espinosa singled to lead off the second, getting 18 consecutive outs.

Hudson improved to 11-2 with a 1.88 ERA against the Nationals’ franchise.

McCann drove in four runs on three singles for the Braves, who took two of three from Washington in the season-opening series. Martin Prado had three hits, including two doubles, and an RBI after opening the season 0 for 9.

Atlanta put the game away with a six-run eighth inning.

Jordan Zimmermann (0-1) pitched six innings for Washington and was charged with three runs, two earned, and four hits.

The Braves‘ first run in the eighth came home when Brian Broderick, making his major league debut, balked with the bases loaded. Five players drove in runs, including Jason Heyward, who had two singles in the inning.

Atlanta also took advantage of a couple of Washington miscues to score its first run. Prado led off the game with a single and Nate McLouth followed with a grounder to first baseman Adam LaRoche, who threw to second for the out but the return throw was a hair too late to catch McLouth. Second baseman Espinosa then bobbled a possible double-play ball hit by Chipper Jones, only getting Jones out at first.

Atlanta took advantage of the reprieve as McCann singled home McLouth.

Washington tied it in the bottom of the first. Jayson Werth singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. On LaRoche’s single to right, Werth got tangled up with Jones in the basepath before being thrown out at the plate, but the run was awarded due to Jones‘ obstruction.

The Braves went in front for good with two runs in the fifth inning. Alex Gonzalez led off with a triple after his fly ball to right-center fell between outfielders Rick Ankiel and Werth, and he scored on a groundout by Freddie Freeman. Hudson walked and scored on Prado’s double when Espinosa dropped the relay throw.

Atlanta added two in the seventh on McCann’s bases-loaded single.

NOTES: Atlanta put RHP Jair Jurrjens on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle, retroactive to March 25. The Braves recalled LHP Mike Minor from Triple-A Gwinnett, and he is expected to start Wednesday’s game at Milwaukee. … Matt Young made his major league debut as a pinch runner for Jones in the eighth and remained in the game as the left fielder. … Nationals leadoff hitter Ian Desmond is 0 for 13 to start the season. Braves 2B Dan Uggla robbed him of a hit with an over-the-shoulder diving catch in the sixth inning.

 

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