|Atlanta (70-62) «||1||0||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||4||9||0|
MIAMI -- Tim Hudson had waited more than a year to get back to the big leagues. After months of rehabilitation -- and a rain delay that lasted nearly three hours -- he finally got his chance.
Hudson (1-0) gave up six hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings in his first big league start since having elbow ligament replacement surgery almost 13 months ago.
"I wasn't sure we were going to get it in," Hudson said. "It took a while to get it going. But it was better late than never."
Brian McCann and Garret Anderson each had an RBI, and the Braves took advantage of a balk by starter Anibal Sanchez (2-6) to beat the Marlins for the second straight night in a series pivotal for both teams' postseason chances. Atlanta is three games behind Colorado for the NL wild card, and Florida fell five back.
Marlins All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez left in the top of the fifth with a tight left hamstring, the team said. Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said the "cramp" likely had a lot to do with the delay, and doesn't think the injury will sideline his star slugger.
A long day that ended with a loss was disheartening enough.
"I don't even know what time it is, really," Gonzalez said. "You're so locked in on a good ballgame. It was a one-run ballgame in the end. I'm sure it's going to hit me in about 20 minutes."
All that was after a rain delay that seemed as though it would never end. The final out came at 1:02 a.m. Wednesday.
"Yeah, it's frustrating," Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan said. "We had some chances and didn't capitalize. Lately it seems like we haven't got the big hit."
The rain and thunderstorms around the ballpark never let the starters warm up for the original start time. The Marlins were able to begin batting practice about 2½ hours before the game, then the sky quickly blackened, and fast-moving storms forced players to retreat to the dugout and sent the grounds crew scurrying to put the tarp on the field.
About 1,000 fans remained when the game finally started in a light drizzle at exactly 10 p.m., the field soggy but solid. The few left were wrapped in ponchos and damp clothes, a spirited bunch of Marlins and Braves fans who tried to make up for the stadium's orange and aqua seats left wet and empty.
None of that could put a damper on a big night for Atlanta's former ace.
Hudson had last pitched July 23, 2008, when he walked off the same mound in Florida with discomfort in his right arm. He had surgery last August.
"For his first outing, in starting three hours late, hanging out here all day, wondering when the first pitch was going to be about 10 different times, I thought he did great," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.
Now, after more than a year recovering and more than a month of rehab starts in the minors, the right-hander rejoined a rotation that is already one of the strongest in the big leagues and looking to make a move into the playoffs.
"It gives us six good ones. It gives us a lot of options," Cox said.
Matt Diaz had a leadoff single and scored on a double play later in the first to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
The Marlins answered fast in the bottom half, with Coghlan and Wes Helms starting with back-to-back doubles. Both scored on Jorge Cantu's single.
After Sanchez balked in a run, McCann hit an RBI double in the third that put Atlanta ahead 3-2.
|Tim Hudson (1-0) fares well in his first start in the majors since having elbow ligament replacement surgery. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
Braves Customized Locker Room Black Framed Photo
$49.95 Shop Now!
|Matt Diaz, RF||5||1||2||0||0||3||2||.328|
|Martin Prado, 2B||5||1||1||0||0||0||2||.304|
|Chipper Jones, 3B||3||1||0||0||1||1||2||.276|
|Brian McCann, C||4||0||2||1||0||1||0||.286|
|Garret Anderson, LF||3||0||1||1||1||0||1||.288|
|Reid Gorecki, PR-LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.227|
|Yunel Escobar, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.306|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.271|
|Omar Infante, CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.314|
|Tim Hudson, P||1||1||0||0||1||0||0||.000|
|Peter Moylan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Ryan Church, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.281|
|Kris Medlen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mike Gonzalez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Greg Norton, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.149|
|Kelly Johnson, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.213|
|Rafael Soriano, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-doubled for Moylan in the 7th|
|b-singled for Gonzalez in the 9th|
|2B - Brian McCann (31, Sanchez), Ryan Church (27, Badenhop)|
|RBI - Brian McCann (73), Garret Anderson (51)|
|2-OUT RBI - Brian McCann (40)|
|SB - Kelly Johnson (7, 2nd base off Lindstrom/Paulino)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - LaRoche-Escobar, Prado-LaRoche, Escobar-Prado-LaRoche|
|Tim Hudson (W,1-0)||5.1||6||2||2||3||5||0||3.38|
|Peter Moylan (H,21)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.10|
|Kris Medlen (H,1)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||4.13|
|Mike Gonzalez (H,14)||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||2.30|
|Rafael Soriano (S,21)||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||2.51|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 82-50, Peter Moylan 2-2, Kris Medlen 12-7, Mike Gonzalez 24-17, Rafael Soriano 22-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 6-4, Peter Moylan 1-0, Rafael Soriano 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 24, Peter Moylan 1, Kris Medlen 3, Mike Gonzalez 4, Rafael Soriano 4|
|Chris Coghlan, LF||4||1||3||0||0||0||0||.301|
|Wes Helms, 3B||3||1||1||0||1||0||1||.281|
|Hanley Ramirez, SS||2||0||0||0||0||1||3||.355|
|Emilio Bonifacio, SS||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.253|
|Jorge Cantu, 1B||4||0||3||2||0||0||2||.280|
|John Baker, C||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.273|
|a- Ronny Paulino, PH-C||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.268|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||3||1||1||1||1||1||0||.243|
|Cody Ross, CF||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.267|
|Jeremy Hermida, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.261|
|Anibal Sanchez, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|b- Cameron Maybin, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.200|
|Burke Badenhop, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Ross Gload, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.251|
|Renyel Pinto, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Matt Lindstrom, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Brett Carroll, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.247|
|a-struck out for Baker in the 8th|
|b-struck out for Sanchez in the 5th|
|c-struck out for Badenhop in the 7th|
|d-grounded into a double play for Lindstrom in the 9th|
|2B - Chris Coghlan (19, Hudson), Wes Helms (11, Hudson), Jorge Cantu (33, Hudson)|
|HR - Dan Uggla (24, Soriano)|
|RBI - Jorge Cantu 2 (73), Dan Uggla (70)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Uggla-H. Ramirez-Cantu, H. Ramirez-Uggla-Cantu|
|Anibal Sanchez (L,2-6)||5||5||3||3||2||4||0||5.01|
|WP - Renyel Pinto (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Anibal Sanchez 93-56, Burke Badenhop 28-15, Renyel Pinto 29-17, Matt Lindstrom 19-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anibal Sanchez 6-3, Burke Badenhop 2-2|
|Batters Faced - Anibal Sanchez 20, Burke Badenhop 8, Renyel Pinto 6, Matt Lindstrom 4|
|Attendance - 14024|
|Game Time - 3:02|
|Temperature - 76|
|Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Adrian Johnson|