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Philadelphia at Atlanta

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Braves 3, Phillies 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Now this is what the Atlanta Braves expect from Tim Hudson.

The struggling right-hander pitched his best game in nearly two months, tossing seven scoreless innings and driving in a run with a suicide squeeze to lead the Atlanta Braves past the Philadelphia Phillies 3-1 Tuesday night.

Hudson (9-10) was mired in one of the worst slumps of his career, going 2-6 with a 7.60 ERA over his past 10 starts. During that span, he allowed 76 hits and eight homers in 55 2-3 innings.

But Philadelphia couldn't get a runner past second base against Hudson, who scattered six hits, walked two and struck out eight -- his most K's since he had 10 against Florida on May 16. He wasn't even fazed after taking Chase Utley's line drive off the back of his right shoulder in the first.

"He looked like the old Hudson with the Oakland A's," manager Bobby Cox said. "He had a lot of strikeouts and a tremendous amount of groundballs."

The right-hander didn't have a 1-2-3 inning but never allowed more than one hit in any frame. The only time he had to work around two runners was in the third, when he walked pitcher Cole Hamels and Utley. Ryan Howard struck out swinging to end the threat.

Hudson contributed at the plate as well.

The game was scoreless in the fifth when Matt Diaz led off with a triple off the right-field wall against Hamels (4-6). Scott Thorman failed to get the runner home, grounding out to third, before Hudson drove in Diaz by getting down the second of two straight suicide squeeze attempts.

After Hudson fouled off the first bunt, Cox called for the same play. Sensing what was coming, Hamels threw a fastball high and away, but Hudson jumped up and managed to get his bat on it, the ball rolling slowly along the first-base line while Diaz sped home for a 1-0 lead.

"I squared around a little soon and let the cat out of the bag," Hudson said. "He threw a pitch that he probably didn't think I could hit. But I'm pretty good bunting balls that aren't strikes. It's the ones down the middle I have trouble bunting."

Hamels, who allowed six hits and a run in six innings, couldn't believe that Hudson managed to get the bunt down.

"Hudson is a phenomenal athlete," Hamels said. "I didn't think he would do it again. I threw it high enough -- I thought he would pop it up -- but he got it down. I couldn't have done anything more."

Hudson got help from his teammates the next inning.

Howard drove a pitch into the right-field corner, and the ball stuck against the wall. Jeff Francoeur retrieved it and made a throw to Marcus Giles in short right. The 5-foot-8 second baseman had to leap for the ball, but he wheeled and threw in one motion -- a perfect strike to third baseman Willy Aybar, who tagged out Howard attempting to stretch a double into a triple.

"Gilly made a no-look throw to third that was right on the money," Hudson said. "If that play is not made and later on they get a hit, we're tied 1-1 and you never know what might happen."

Hudson began to cramp up on a muggy night and left after 94 pitches.

"It's been a bit of a rough year," he said. "I'm still not where I want to be. I still feel I can throw a lot better than I have been."

The Braves, who seem hopelessly out of the race for a 15th straight division title, remained 5½ games behind NL wild-card leader Cincinnati.

Atlanta added to its margin with two runs in the seventh off Geoff Geary. Diaz drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Thorman doubled off the glove of right fielder Shane Victorino to make it 3-0.

Danys Baez couldn't find the plate after taking over for Hudson in the eighth. The reliever walked the bases loaded with one out, bringing on Wayne Franklin to face David Dellucci, who gave the Braves a huge scare.

Dellucci hit a long drive to center that sent Andruw Jones to the wall. He caught it with his back against the 400-foot sign.

Victorino trotted home on the sacrifice fly, but that was it for the Phillies. Tyler Yates came out of the bullpen to get Chris Coste swinging for the third out, and Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his sixth save in six chances since coming over to the Braves in a trade with Cleveland.

"It's a good win for us," Hudson said. "Things are tough right now. We've dug ourselves a big hole. But you never know what may happen."

Notes

After throwing out Howard, Giles was thrown out himself in the sixth by LF Dellucci when he tried to stretch a single into a double. ... The Phillies were awarded a double play in the fourth when Jones grabbed Utley's knee as the second baseman attempted to make a relay throw to first. ... Phillies CF Aaron Rowand stole two bases in a game for the first time this season.

 
Copyright 2015 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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Players of the Game
Atlanta

T. Hudson
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 0
BB 2
K 8
Philadelphia

C. Hamels
IP 6.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 1
K 6
 

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Shane Victorino, RF3100112 .268
Chase Utley, 2B2010210 .327
Ryan Howard, 1B3010113 .294
David Dellucci, LF3011000 .335
Chris Coste, C4000023 .341
Aaron Rowand, CF4020011 .258
Abraham Nunez, 3B4010022 .158
Cole Hamels, P1010100 .136
   a- Pat Burrell, PH1000001 .255
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a-grounded out for Hamels in the 7th
b-flied out for White in the 9th
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2B - Ryan Howard (16, Hudson)
SF - David Dellucci (2)
RBI - David Dellucci (27)
SB - Aaron Rowand 2 (8, 2nd base off Hudson/McCann, 2nd base off Hudson/McCann)
CS - David Dellucci (3, 2nd base by Hudson/McCann)
Team LOB - 9
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Outfield Assists - David Dellucci 1
DP - Utley-Rollins-Howard, Nunez-Utley-Howard
Philadelphia Phillies
Cole Hamels (L,4-6) 6611160 4.97
Geoff Geary 0.1122000 3.79
Aaron Fultz 0.2100010 4.34
Rick White 1000010 5.18
HBP - Francoeur (by Geoff Geary)
Pitches-Strikes - Cole Hamels 80-51, Geoff Geary 9-5, Aaron Fultz 9-6, Rick White 7-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cole Hamels 7-2, Rick White 2-0
Batters Faced - Cole Hamels 22, Geoff Geary 3, Aaron Fultz 3, Rick White 3
Atlanta Braves
Willy Aybar, 3B4010021 .251
Marcus Giles, 2B4020010 .271
Edgar Renteria, SS3000121 .311
Andruw Jones, CF4010011 .273
Jeff Francoeur, RF2100010 .256
Brian McCann, C3120000 .352
Matt Diaz, LF2111001 .322
Scott Thorman, 1B3011012 .250
Tim Hudson, P1001000 .093
   a- Tony Pena, PH1000001 .071
    Danys Baez, P0000000 .000
    Wayne Franklin, P0000000 .000
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
    Bob Wickman, P0000000 .000
Totals27383187 
a-lined out for Hudson in the 7th
Batting
2B - Brian McCann (19, Geary), Scott Thorman (8, Fultz)
3B - Matt Diaz (4, Hamels)
SF - Matt Diaz (3)
SH - Tim Hudson (10)
RBI - Matt Diaz (19), Scott Thorman (11), Tim Hudson (2)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jeff Francoeur 1
Atlanta Braves
Tim Hudson (W,9-10) 7600280 4.98
Danys Baez (H,10) 0.1011310 4.17
Wayne Franklin (H,1) 0.1000000 0.00
Tyler Yates (H,4) 0.1000010 3.33
Bob Wickman (S,21) 1100010 3.34
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 93-59, Danys Baez 18-5, Wayne Franklin 1-1, Tyler Yates 5-3, Bob Wickman 16-9
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Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 27, Danys Baez 4, Wayne Franklin 1, Tyler Yates 1, Bob Wickman 4
Game Information
Attendance - 30714
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 90
Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Marty Foster