ATLANTA -- Tim Hudson made a great impression on the Atlanta fans.
Dan Kolb didn't.
"Obviously, you don't want to do it this early in the season," Kolb said. "For the fans and everyone else, you don't want to create a confidence problem."
Smoltz, who had 144 saves the last three years, moved back to the starting rotation and was joined by Hudson, picked up from Oakland in the Braves' other big offseason trade.
In his first regular-season start at Turner Field, Hudson showed why he has one of the best winning percentages in baseball history. The right-hander pitched six-hit ball over eight innings, handing a 3-1 lead to Kolb.
"Obviously, you'd like to come out on top in these kind of games," Hudson said. "But that's how it goes sometimes."
He had other things on his mind anyway. Doctors plan to induce labor early Wednesday so his wife, Kim, can deliver the couple's first son, Kade Timothy. The couple has two daughters.
"She's been a trooper," Hudson said. "Maybe she can get through it quickly and I can come back over here to catch a few innings."
The Braves and Nationals close their series with an afternoon game.
The go-ahead run had barely crossed the plate when heavy rain swept across Turner Field.
Umpires allowed Washington closer Chad Cordero to throw two pitches in the bottom half, but it was raining so hard that play was suspended for 31 minutes.
When the storm passed, Cordero returned to the mound and finished off his first save. Luis Ayala (1-0) got the win with a scoreless eighth.
"The only thing I was worried about was that we finish it up tonight," manager Frank Robinson said. "You wanted to get it done tonight without sitting around."
Hudson allowed only six hits in eight innings, turning the ball over to Kolb with a 3-1 lead. He couldn't hold it.
Kolb (0-1) walked two and gave up a single that loaded the bases with no outs. Ryan Church grounded into a force at home, Cristian Guzman hit a sacrifice fly and the crowd rose to its feet, sensing the right-hander would escape the jam.
Instead, Schneider brought both runners home with a double to the gap in right-center.
"We were just looking for one run there to tie the game up," Schneider said. "You try to be as upbeat as you can going into the ninth. But after he walked the first guy, you saw a totally different attitude in the dugout."
Hudson got knocked around in an exhibition game at Turner Field, but this was the first chance for Atlanta fans to see the real deal. He limited the Nationals to Jose Vidro's solo homer in the fourth, striking out six and walking no one.
Atlanta scored in the fourth off Esteban Loaiza when Orr singled, went to third on Jones' single and came home on Andruw Jones' sacrifice fly.
Orr, starting in place of injured second baseman Marcus Giles, was right in the middle of a go-ahead rally in the sixth. Rafael Furcal had a one-out single and Orr followed with a hit to center. Both runners came home on Chipper Jones' towering double to left-center.
Orr had another single in the eighth for the first three-hit game of his young career.
Loaiza went seven innings, allowed three runs and seven hits.
"Everything was working: cutter, sinker, on both sides of the plate," he said. "I tried to get ahead in the count early."
- Jamey Carroll started in place of 3B Vinny Castilla, who didn't play because of a sore right shoulder.
- 1B Julio Franco started for the Braves, even though a right-hander started for the Nationals. He had gone five games without a start, and manager Bobby Cox didn't want the 46-year-old player to get rusty on the bench. As part of a first-base platoon, Adam LaRoche usually starts against right-handers.
- Loaiza was denied his first NL win since he pitched for Pittsburgh in 1998.
- The Nationals-Expos defeated the Braves for only the fifth time in the last 20 games between the teams.