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Atlanta «0011000013101
N.Y. Mets000000000063

Hudson scores win in first start in a month

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Tim Hudson took the field for the sixth inning, knowing it would be his last.

Sure he had only thrown 45 pitches through five, but after two trips around the bases on a humid night in his first start in over a month, that was enough to wipe out the right-hander.

"I was gassed," Hudson said after pitching five-hit ball Saturday night Atlanta's 3-0 victory over the New York Mets.

Kelly Johnson snapped out of an 0-for-14 slump with two hits and two RBI for Atlanta, which has won two straight following a three-game losing streak.

Hudson was on the mound for the first time since June 13, when he was forced out after 2 2/3 innings by a strained muscle in his left side -- caused by a flaw in his delivery. After two simulated games, that were also scoreless outings, Hudson was ready to do it for real.

Braves manager Bobby Cox thought it was one of Hudson's best outings of the year. The pitcher wasn't so sure.

"I wasn't quite as sharp as I would like to be," he said. "But I couldn't ask for anything more coming off a four-week little vacation here."

Hudson scored from second to give the Braves the lead in the third, then was forced out at the plate two innings later after leading off with a double.

After getting the first two hitters in the sixth, Hudson gave up back-to-back singles to Carlos Beltran and Cliff Floyd. Cox came out to see if Hudson had enough to get David Wright, who already had three homers in the series.

He did, getting Wright to bounce into a force out.

"I knew I was getting close to running on empty but I felt like I had enough to get out of that inning," Hudson said.

Hudson (7-5) showed little signs of rust, in the 198th start of his career. He got through six innings on just 62 pitches and earned his 99th victory.

His .692 winning percentage (99-44) is third among pitchers with 100 decisions and second only to New York's Pedro Martinez among active hurlers.

With his former pitching coach, Rick Peterson, watching from the Mets dugout, Hudson struck out one and didn't issue a walk. He is 2-0 against New York this season and hasn't allowed a run in 14 innings.

It was as if he was trying to keep up with his former teammates on the Oakland Athletics, the club that dealt him to Atlanta during the offseason. Rich Harden and Barry Zito carried no-hitters into the eighth inning on Thursday and Friday.

"They are my buddies and I'm proud of them with what they've been able to do," Hudson said. "But I've just got to do what I do. I've been on the shelf for a month and need to get back to pitching and feel like I'm a part of the team."

Hudson ran into trouble a few times, but was helped out by fine defense. Twice after singles by Doug Mientkiewicz, Hudson induced catcher Ramon Castro to hit into double plays.

Atlanta has taken two of three from the last-place Mets and improved to 9-3 against them this season. The four-game series concludes Sunday when Mike Hampton will come off the disabled list to face Martinez.

"We need a win tomorrow," Mets manager Willie Randolph said.

Jim Brower and Dan Kolb pitched two innings of scoreless relief for the Braves, paving the way for Chris Reitsma, who worked the ninth for his ninth save in 13 chances.

The third inning was the toughest for Hudson, who earned his first victory since May 29 - a span of four starts.

Miguel Cairo led off with a double and was sacrificed to third by Mets starter Victor Zambrano. Jose Reyes then grounded to first baseman Adam LaRoche, who threw home to nail Cairo despite playing back in the infield. Wilson Betemit then made a nifty backhand play on Mike Cameron's grounder to end the inning.

In the fourth, Andruw Jones drew a leadoff walk and came around on Ryan Langerhans' double that split the gap in left-center.

Zambrano (4-8) allowed fewer than three earned runs for the 16th time in 17 starts but he is 0-2 in his last three starts.

"He's pitched well, but you've got to score runs. That's the bottom line," Randolph said.

Zambrano retired the side in order only twice in seven innings but worked around trouble and scattered six hits, striking out six and walking four.

In his last nine starts, he is 2-4 with an ERA of 2.36.

"Every game for me is very important," Zambrano said. "I always go back there to give the opportunity to the team to win the game."

The Braves added a run in the ninth off Danny Graves, who helped the inning along when he threw away Rafael Furcal's bunt for New York's third error. Johnson then singled in Pete Orr to make it 3-0.

Notes

  • Furcal, who leads the NL with 29 stolen bases, was caught trying to swipe second by Mets catcher Ramon Castro after drawing a walk to start the game. It was the fifth time he was thrown out.
  • Mets C Mike Piazza got the day off and is expected to start Sunday.
  • Mientkiewicz was activated from the DL before the game.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Tim Hudson improves his record to 7-5 this season and is two starts shy of 200 in his career. (AP)
Tim Hudson improves his record to 7-5 this season and is two starts shy of 200 in his career. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

K. Johnson
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Atlanta

R. Langerhans
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Atlanta Braves
Rafael Furcal, SS4020111 .261
Kelly Johnson, LF5022010 .248
Marcus Giles, 2B4000113 .299
Andruw Jones, CF3100204 .271
Adam LaRoche, 1B4000005 .270
Ryan Langerhans, RF4021010 .249
Brian McCann, C3010101 .333
Wilson Betemit, 3B4010014 .298
Tim Hudson, P3110012 .138
    Jim Brower, P0000000 .000
    Dan Kolb, P0000000 .000
   a- Pete Orr, PH1110000 .311
    Chris Reitsma, P0000000 .000
Totals3531035620 
a-singled for Kolb in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ryan Langerhans (9, Zambrano), Tim Hudson (1, Zambrano)
RBI - Kelly Johnson 2 (26), Ryan Langerhans (26)
2-OUT RBI - Kelly Johnson (10)
CS - Rafael Furcal (6, 2nd base by Zambrano/Castro)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Furcal-LaRoche, Furcal-Giles-LaRoche
E - Rafael Furcal (7, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Tim Hudson (W,7-5) 6500010 3.53
Jim Brower (H,8) 1000010 5.31
Dan Kolb (H,4) 1000000 5.25
Chris Reitsma (S,9) 1100010 3.50
HBP - Cairo (by Tim Hudson)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 62-43, Jim Brower 17-9, Dan Kolb 9-8, Chris Reitsma 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 13-3, Jim Brower 1-1, Dan Kolb 2-1, Chris Reitsma 1-1
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 23, Jim Brower 3, Dan Kolb 3, Chris Reitsma 4
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4000000 .258
Mike Cameron, RF4000001 .262
Carlos Beltran, CF4010010 .271
Cliff Floyd, LF4010011 .283
David Wright, 3B4010002 .285
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B4020001 .224
Ramon Castro, C3000012 .250
Miguel Cairo, 2B2010000 .266
Victor Zambrano, P1000001 .129
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
   a- Marlon Anderson, PH1000000 .296
    Danny Graves, P0000000 .000
Totals31060038 
a-grounded out for Heilman in the 8th
Batting
2B - Miguel Cairo (7, Hudson)
SH - Victor Zambrano (5)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Cairo-Reyes-Mientkiewicz, Wright-Cairo-Mientkiewicz
E - Mike Cameron (4, Bobble), Cliff Floyd (2, Dropped fly), Danny Graves (2, Wild throw)
New York Mets
Victor Zambrano (L,4-8) 7622460 3.51
Aaron Heilman 1100100 4.57
Danny Graves 1311000 7.85
Pitches-Strikes - Victor Zambrano 110-66, Aaron Heilman 22-12, Danny Graves 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Victor Zambrano 8-6, Aaron Heilman 1-2, Danny Graves 2-0
Batters Faced - Victor Zambrano 30, Aaron Heilman 5, Danny Graves 5
Game Information
Attendance - 36078
Game Time - 2:21
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Jeff Nelson