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Atlanta at Pittsburgh

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Atlanta (22-20) «102300100790
Pittsburgh (18-24)000000000041

Hudson, Braves shut out Pirates in only NL game on slate

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- No need to wait for the ninth inning to win this one. With Tim Hudson giving up only three singles and Jason Heyward rattling PNC Park with line drives, the Atlanta Braves put the Pirates away early and easily.

Heyward homered and drove in three runs to support Hudson's eight dominant innings and the Braves coasted for a change, beating the Pirates 7-0 on Friday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

The Braves had won three consecutive games in their final at-bat, including a 10-9 win over Cincinnati on Thursday in which they scored seven runs during the best ninth-inning comeback in franchise history. They have won nine of 11 overall.

"There's nothing better than winning like we did yesterday [Thursday], then winning again," said manager Bobby Cox, who celebrated his 69th birthday. "It's kind of inspiring to win a game like we did [against Cincinnati]. It gets you on rolls."

Hudson (5-1) was already on one as he won his fourth in a row this month, allowing a pair of singles by Bobby Crosby and another by Garrett Jones. Hudson hasn't permitted more than one run in any victory during the streak. The right-hander also hasn't surrendered an earned run in his last 22 innings in Pittsburgh.

"My sinker feels really good, and for me that's the key," Hudson said. "Stay down in the zone with it, [get] good action, stay on top of it, [with] good downward tilt. It's a fun day when I'm able to go out and do that."

For the Braves, a fun day beat another stressful one.

Hudson was trying for his 12th career shutout and his first since May 2, 2008, against Cincinnati, or about four months before he had Tommy John elbow reconstructive surgery. Cox pulled him after he threw 109 pitches.

"I didn't think there was any reason to keep him going with that kind of lead," Cox said. "If he'd had to, he could have gone another one easy. But I thought it was best what we did."

Asked about Hudson's sinker, the Pirates' Ryan Church said, "He's got that extra, late movement and that makes it frustrating. He's a ground-ball pitcher and it looks like he's got his arm strength back from surgery."

Eric O'Flaherty finished up the combined four-hitter -- Atlanta's first shutout this season -- as the Pirates were shut out for the third time in five home games and the sixth time overall.

Long before that, Martin Prado doubled and scored on Chipper Jones' single in the first and, the way Hudson was pitching, the Braves didn't need much more offense than that. Heyward gave it to them anyway.

Heyward walked in the first, then lined a Ross Ohlendorf pitch into the right-field seats following Prado's leadoff walk to make it 3-0 in the third. Heyward missed a second homer by a couple of feet, lining another drive high off the right-field wall to drive in a run and finish off a three-run fourth inning that chased Ohlendorf (0-2).

Heyward went 3 for 4 in his Pittsburgh debut, with center fielder Andrew McCutchen taking away a possible fourth hit by making a sliding catch of a sinking line drive in the sixth.

"He [Heyward] is a very athletic player with a lot of strength and, obviously, a lot of pop," Pirates manager John Russell said.

Ohlendorf pitched 3 2/3 innings in his third start since spending a month on the disabled list with back spasms, giving up six runs and seven hits. He has lasted longer than five innings once in four starts.

Notes
  • Brian McCann added his fifth homer, a solo shot in the seventh.
  • The Pirates are hitting .233 this month.
  • Saturday night's game won't be televised in Atlanta, the only Braves game all season that won't be shown. It also won't be on TV in Pittsburgh. The Fox network's weekly Saturday telecast is in prime time, and other games being played then cannot be televised.
  • OF Nate McLouth played in Pittsburgh for the first time since being traded to Atlanta nearly a year ago. Some Pirates fans wore McLouth jerseys.
  • The Braves are 14-6 since losing nine in a row.
 
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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Jason Heyward provides the punch for the Braves by going 3 for 4 with a home run and three RBI.  (AP)
Jason Heyward provides the punch for the Braves by going 3 for 4 with a home run and three RBI. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

T. Hudson
IP 8.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 4
K 3
Atlanta

J. Heyward
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Atlanta Braves
Martin Prado, 2B4311110 .320
Jason Heyward, RF4133100 .291
Chipper Jones, 3B3011110 .228
    Omar Infante, 3B1000001 .302
Brian McCann, C5121005 .261
Troy Glaus, 1B4000022 .281
Eric Hinske, LF3110102 .354
    Melky Cabrera, LF0000000 .200
Yunel Escobar, SS3100101 .194
Nate McLouth, CF3000001 .203
Tim Hudson, P4011000 .261
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
Totals3479754  
Batting
2B - Martin Prado (13, Ohlendorf), Jason Heyward (9, Ohlendorf), Eric Hinske (9, Ohlendorf)
HR - Jason Heyward (9, Ohlendorf), Brian McCann (5, Karstens)
SH - Nate McLouth (4)
RBI - Martin Prado (20), Jason Heyward 3 (33), Chipper Jones (12), Brian McCann (15), Tim Hudson (2)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Heyward (14)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Prado-Escobar-Glaus
Atlanta Braves
Tim Hudson (W,5-1) 8300430 2.09
Eric O'Flaherty 1100110 2.04
IBB - Cedeno by Tim Hudson
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 109-64, Eric O'Flaherty 23-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 15-5, Eric O'Flaherty 2-0
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 30, Eric O'Flaherty 5
Pittsburgh Pirates
Andy LaRoche, 3B4000000 .256
Bobby Crosby, 2B3020100 .258
Andrew McCutchen, CF3000102 .321
Garrett Jones, RF4020002 .273
Ryan Church, LF4000012 .200
Ryan Doumit, C3000100 .276
Jeff Clement, 1B3000010 .182
   a- Steve Pearce, PH0000100 .280
Ronny Cedeno, SS3000112 .233
Ross Ohlendorf, P1000003 .000
    Jeff Karstens, P1000000 .167
    D.J. Carrasco, P0000000 .000
   b- Akinori Iwamura, PH1000010 .155
    Brendan Donnelly, P0000000 .000
Totals3004054  
a-walked for Clement in the 9th
b-struck out for Carrasco in the 8th
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Garrett Jones 1
PB - Ryan Doumit (4)
E - Ross Ohlendorf (1, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ross Ohlendorf (L,0-2) 3.2766331 5.30
Jeff Karstens 3.1111211 4.91
D.J. Carrasco 1000000 4.23
Brendan Donnelly 1100000 5.73
Pitches-Strikes - Ross Ohlendorf 67-45, Jeff Karstens 43-26, D.J. Carrasco 4-3, Brendan Donnelly 21-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ross Ohlendorf 3-4, Jeff Karstens 1-8, D.J. Carrasco 3-0, Brendan Donnelly 2-1
Batters Faced - Ross Ohlendorf 20, Jeff Karstens 13, D.J. Carrasco 3, Brendan Donnelly 4
Game Information
Attendance - 22470
Game Time - 2:36
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Tim Tschida