MIAMI -- Pitching in a new league and unaccustomed to the mound, Tim Hudson struggled with his control. He gave up a home run, which happened only eight times last year. And a pinch-hitter -- never a factor in the American League -- forced him from the game.
He won anyway.
"It wasn't exactly one of my prettiest outings, but I was able to battle and make some pitches when I needed to," Hudson said. "I just wasn't quite as sharp as I'd like. Hopefully, from here everything will get better."
The former 20-game winner, acquired in a trade after six years with Oakland, allowed six hits and four walks but just one run. He stranded seven runners and induced two double-play grounders.
Hudson said he had trouble adjusting to the big mound at the Marlins' ballpark. His slider proved unreliable, so he threw mostly splitters and changeups.
"He didn't have his good stuff, but he knew how to get out of trouble," Braves catcher Eddie Perez said. "It was exactly what I was expecting from somebody like him."
Hudson said butterflies were a problem only when he hit against hard-throwing A.J. Burnett. He came through with a run-scoring single for his second career RBI.
"I just closed my eyes and swung," Hudson said. "He hit my barrel."
Florida gave up two unearned runs because of a throwing error by Gold Glove second baseman Luis Castillo. The Marlins, who hit into a team-record six double plays in a 13-inning loss Wednesday, hit into two more and stranded 11 runners.
"It seems like we're getting enough people on base, but we're not scoring runs," Castillo said. "We have to fix that."
The only run allowed by Hudson came when Alex Gonzalez hit a slider for a homer in the fourth, ending a streak of 15 innings without a run for Florida. Hudson gave up the fewest homers per nine innings in the AL last year (0.38).
The Braves led 4-1 and had a runner on second with two outs in the sixth when manager Bobby Cox removed Hudson for a pinch-hitter. Cox said he would have made a change regardless because Hudson had thrown 93 pitches.
"In five innings, that's a ton of work," Cox said. "He had to work for everything he got. He's going to be super."
Hudson improved his career record to 93-39 (.705), which ranks third in winning percentage among starters with at least 100 decisions.
"I know there are expectations," he said. "People are expecting a certain caliber pitcher when I'm out there. So do I. I expect to go out there and get the job done."
Castillo's error and four singles off Burnett (0-1) helped the Braves break a scoreless tie with three runs in the fourth.
Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones singled to start the inning. A groundout scored one run, and Brian Jordan singled for his first hit of the season to put runners at first and third.
Perez hit a two-out grounder in the hole to Castillo, who made a diving stop but threw wide from one knee to first, allowing a run to come home. Hudson followed with a single, making the score 3-0.
"I made a bad throw," Castillo said. "I'm just trying to get the ball over there. I obviously didn't come through."
Hudson, meanwhile, benefited from solid defense. Shortstop Rafael Furcal saved a run by making a diving catch of Castillo's soft liner with two runners on to end the fourth.
- Carlos Delgado went 1-for-3 against Hudson and remained at .333 (10-for-30) against the right-hander with five homers.
- Chipper Jones improved to .367 (11-for-30) against Burnett.
- Atlanta is 16-6 against Florida since the start of last season.