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Tampa Bay at Atlanta

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Tampa Bay (41-25)000100000140
Atlanta (39-28) «00010200x351

Heyward, Glaus support Hudson as Braves take series from Rays

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Tim Hudson and the Atlanta Braves felt good about winning a series against Tampa Bay.

Jason Heyward homered and Troy Glaus drove in two runs to back seven strong innings by Hudson in Atlanta's 3-1 victory over the Rays on Thursday.

The Braves took two of three games in an interleague matchup of division leaders. They've won four of five overall and 11 of 12 at home to improve to 21-7 at Turner Field.

"Two out of three against any team is very good, especially a team like that," Hudson said. "They're one of the best clubs in the American League."

Tampa Bay's two-game slide dropped the Rays to 9-13 since May 23.

"For the most part, we didn't have many chances, but neither did they," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "They took advantage of their chances."

Hudson (7-2) lowered his ERA nine points to 2.34 after allowing four hits, one run and four walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander improved to 113-21 in his career when pitching at least seven innings.

In 11 career starts against Tampa Bay, he is 7-1 with a 2.71 ERA.

Glaus, whose 53 RBI include 27 with two outs, gave the Braves their first lead at 3-1 with a two-run double in the sixth.

"Troy came through with the big hit," Hudson said. "Hit it just soft enough they couldn't get to it. Those are the kind of hits I love."

Atlanta improved to 9-0-3 in its last 12 series. The Braves were 13-18 after losing May 9 at Philadelphia, but are 26-10 since.

Hudson stranded two runners in the fifth by retiring rookie Reid Brignac on a comebacker. Hudson escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh following a mound visit by manager Bobby Cox when pinch-hitter Willy Aybar grounded out.

"We just played some good, clean baseball," Hudson said. "We're a tough, gritty team."

Jonny Venters stranded a runner in the eighth before closer Billy Wagner earned his 11th save in 13 chances with a perfect ninth.

Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Carl Crawford walked, moved to second on Evan Longoria's groundout and scored on Carlos Pena's RBI single.

Heyward's 11th homer, a solo shot to right-center, tied it in the fourth.

"It was good to get Huddy back in the game," Heyward said. "This team is a team, from bullpen to defense to hitting. That's what you've got to have."

Atlanta took a 3-1 lead in the sixth. Following singles by Hudson and Martin Prado and an intentional walk to Brian McCann that loaded the bases, Glaus lofted a double just beyond the reach of a diving Ben Zobrist in short right field.

"A split second earlier, I would have had it," Zobrist said. "I gave it my best effort. I just couldn't get to it. As soon as I saw it in the air, my thought was to get under it."

James Shields (5-6) lost his career-worst fifth straight start. Making first appearance against Atlanta, the right-hander allowed three runs, five hits and one walk with three strikeouts in six innings.

Shields, who has given up five homers in his last four starts, has a 7.58 ERA during his losing streak.

"A broken-bat hit got them two runs," Shields said. "That pitch and the one to Heyward were the only bad pitches I threw."

Grant Balfour pitched the seventh and Joaquin Benoit the eighth for Tampa Bay.

Rays center fielder B.J. Upton was 1 for 12 in the series with eight strikeouts. He also was picked off at first by Hudson in the second.

The game started 26 minutes late because of a rain delay.

Notes

  • Glaus made a backhand grab of Zobrist's hard grounder in the second to begin a 3-6-3 double play.
  • The Braves have beaten Tampa Bay in six of seven series and are 15-6 against the Rays since interleague play began.
 
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 pitches seven strong innings and lowers his ERA nine points to 2.34. (AP)
Tim Hudson pitches seven strong innings and lowers his ERA nine points to 2.34. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

T. Hudson
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 4
K 5
Tampa Bay

J. Shields
IP 6.0
H 5
ER 3
BB 1
K 3
 
Tampa Bay Rays
Reid Brignac, SS3000002 .294
   a- Jason Bartlett, PH-SS1000010 .227
Carl Crawford, LF2100200 .295
Evan Longoria, 3B3000110 .312
Carlos Pena, 1B3011111 .197
Ben Zobrist, RF4010002 .309
B.J. Upton, CF4000021 .231
Sean Rodriguez, 2B4000010 .268
Dioner Navarro, C2010110 .218
James Shields, P2010000 .500
   b- Willy Aybar, PH1000002 .243
    Grant Balfour, P0000000 .000
    Joaquin Benoit, P0000000 .000
Totals2914157  
a-struck out for Brignac in the 8th
b-grounded out for Shields in the 7th
Batting
RBI - Carlos Pena (46)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Pena (14)
CS - Carl Crawford (5, 2nd base by Hudson/McCann)
PK - B.J. Upton (2, Hudson)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Longoria-Pena
Tampa Bay Rays
James Shields (L,5-6) 6533131 4.55
Grant Balfour 1000100 1.84
Joaquin Benoit 1000020 0.54
IBB - McCann by James Shields
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 82-55, Grant Balfour 15-9, Joaquin Benoit 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 8-7, Joaquin Benoit 1-0
Batters Faced - James Shields 24, Grant Balfour 3, Joaquin Benoit 3
Atlanta Braves
Martin Prado, 2B4110010 .337
Brooks Conrad, 3B3000010 .259
Jason Heyward, RF4111032 .266
Brian McCann, C2010100 .263
Troy Glaus, 1B3012001 .286
Eric Hinske, LF3000003 .315
    Gregor Blanco, CF0000000 .467
Yunel Escobar, SS2000101 .250
Melky Cabrera, CF-LF3000000 .249
Tim Hudson, P2110000 .273
   a- Brandon Hicks, PH1000000 .000
    Jonny Venters, P0000000 .000
    Billy Wagner, P0000000 .000
Totals2735325  
a-flied out for Hudson in the 7th
Batting
2B - Troy Glaus (10, Shields)
HR - Jason Heyward (11, Shields)
SH - Brooks Conrad (2)
RBI - Jason Heyward (44), Troy Glaus 2 (53)
2-OUT RBI - Troy Glaus 2 (27)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Glaus-Escobar
E - Brooks Conrad (1, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Tim Hudson (W,7-2) 7411450 2.34
Jonny Venters (H,4) 1000110 1.50
Billy Wagner (S,12) 1000010 1.37
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 103-58, Jonny Venters 17-9, Billy Wagner 6-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 13-1, Jonny Venters 2-0
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 27, Jonny Venters 4, Billy Wagner 3
Game Information
Attendance - 30427
Game Time - 2:24
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Bill Hohn, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Paul Emmel