Chicago at Atlanta

Chi. Cubs
W: T. Hudson (1-0) L: J. Samardzija (1-1)
HR: CHC - None   ATL - D. Uggla (2)

Braves 5, Cubs 1 wire reports

ATLANTA -- For the first four innings, Tim Hudson wondered if Jeff Samardzija would be too tough to beat.

Luckily for Hudson, the hard-throwing Samardzija began having control problems, and the Atlanta Braves took advantage of the situation.

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"You know you're not going to get much against a pitcher like Samardzija," Hudson said. "He was throwing some cheese in there."

Hudson pitched six-plus strong innings and added an RBI and Ramiro Pena hit a two-run single to help the Braves beat the Chicago Cubs 5-1 on Sunday.

The three-game sweep ended a 5-1 homestand for Atlanta, which got a solo homer from Dan Uggla in the eighth off Hisanori Takahashi.

Chicago ended a six-game road trip with four losses as it heads to Wrigley Field for the home opener against Milwaukee on Monday.

Hudson (1-0) allowed three hits, one run and two walks in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven while improving to 3-1 in seven career starts against the Cubs with a 3.12 ERA.

"That's Hudson," Chicago manager Dale Sveum said. "He changes speeds. He's got a slider, cutter, curveball, split. His fastball is really deceiving sneaky and obviously he can get groundballs. That's Hudson."

Samardzija (1-1) set a career high with 13 strikeouts, but gave up four hits, four runs and four walks in 5 2/3 innings.

"He's got good stuff and he's a great athlete and one heck of a competitor," Uggla said after going 0 for 3 against Samardzija with two strikeouts.

"Everybody knows that. He kept us off balance. You've got to respect his 97 [mph fastball]. We were able to scratch a couple [of runs] across, and Huddy was able to hold them right there."

The Braves, without injured starters Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons, had struck out 10 times by the end of the fourth, but they got an offensive lift for the second straight game from Ramiro Pena, a reserve shortstop batting in the No. 8 spot.

In the fifth, Samardzija retired the first two batters before Pena doubled and Hudson walked. With B.J. Upton batting, a wild pitch advanced both runners. Samardzija then walked Upton on a wild pitch that scored Pena and made it 1-1.

In the sixth, Justin Upton whiffed for the 13th strikeout, but Samardzija loaded the bases with two outs on Uggla's fielder's choice and Juan Francisco's single before he hit Chris Johnson with a pitch.

Samardzija was unhappy with home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez, running toward the plate to argue that the ball had missed Johnson.

"I don't know," Samardzija said. "I'll have to go back and check the replay. We were just trying to go up and in, and I guess it grazed him."

Pena, the next batter, singled into right field to drive in two runs to make it 3-1 and chase Samardzija. Hudson followed with an RBI single off reliever Michael Bowden to give the Braves a 4-1 lead.

"Our bench is so deep that you can run Pena in there and not lose a beat," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "And put Chris Johnson at first base and still put a pretty good team on the field. That's a sign of a good baseball team. Well-rounded."

Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the first when David DeJesus doubled off the right-field wall, moved to third on Starlin Castro's flyout and scored on Anthony Rizzo's RBI groundout.

Luis Avilan, who replaced Hudson with runners on first and second in the seventh, ended the threat by retiring pinch-hitter Scott Hairston on a forceout.

Avilan stranded two runners in the eighth when Nate Schierholtz grounded out.

Uggla's homer, his second, made it 5-1. Braves reliever Jordan Walden struck out the side in the ninth.


Sveum said before the game that RHP Carlos Marmol has been removed as closer in favor of RHP Kyuji Fujikawa. Neither pitched Sunday. ... Braves 1B Freeman was upset with the team's decision to place him on the DL with a strained right oblique. He will stay in Atlanta for treatment and will not accompany the Braves on their six-game road trip that begins Monday at Miami and continues Friday at Washington. ... One night after hitting his fifth homer in five games, Justin Upton struck out four times. ... Samardzija's previous strikeout high was 11, a mark he first set last July 2 at Atlanta and matched last Aug. 13 against Houston. ... Samardzija is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA in three career starts against the Braves. ... Atlanta's Simmons, who's missed two games with a sprained right thumb, hopes to return to the lineup early in the week. ... Cubs RHP Matt Garza, on the disabled list with a left side strain, threw a bullpen session, but is still a few days away before he begins a rehab assignment. ... Sveum said 2B Darwin Barney is a couple of days away from a rehab assignment and could return April 15 against Texas.

Copyright 2017 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

R. Pena
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

T. Hudson
IP 6.2
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 7

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
David DeJesus, CF3110001 .111
   a- Dave Sappelt, PH-CF1000000 .000
Starlin Castro, SS4020002 .240
Anthony Rizzo, 1B4011012 .190
Alfonso Soriano, LF4010032 .174
Nate Schierholtz, RF4000023 .267
Dioner Navarro, C4000011 .100
Luis Valbuena, 3B3000110 .125
Alberto Gonzalez, 2B3000110 .200
Jeff Samardzija, P2000021 .000
    Michael Bowden, P0000000 .000
   b- Steve Clevenger, PH0000000 .000
   c- Scott Hairston, PH1000002 .143
    Hector Rondon, P0000000 .000
    Hisanori Takahashi, P0000000 .000
a-flied out for DeJesus in the 8th
b-announced for Bowden in the 7th
c-hit into fielder's choice for Clevenger in the 7th
2B - David DeJesus (2, Hudson)
RBI - Anthony Rizzo (5)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Navarro-Gonzalez
E - Dioner Navarro (1, Throwing)
Chicago Cubs
Jeff Samardzija (L,1-1) 5.24444130 2.63
Michael Bowden 0.1100000 2.45
Hector Rondon 1000020 0.00
Hisanori Takahashi 1111011 6.75
HBP - Johnson (by Jeff Samardzija), Heyward (by Hector Rondon)
WP - Jeff Samardzija 2 (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Samardzija 105-63, Michael Bowden 5-4, Hector Rondon 12-7, Hisanori Takahashi 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Samardzija 3-1, Michael Bowden 1-0, Hisanori Takahashi 2-0
Batters Faced - Jeff Samardzija 26, Michael Bowden 2, Hector Rondon 3, Hisanori Takahashi 4
Atlanta Braves
B.J. Upton, CF2010202 .150
Jason Heyward, RF3000033 .100
Justin Upton, LF4000042 .318
Evan Gattis, C3000122 .364
Dan Uggla, 2B4211021 .211
Juan Francisco, 3B4110020 .250
Chris Johnson, 1B3100010 .200
Ramiro Pena, SS4122010 .273
Tim Hudson, P2011110 .250
    Luis Avilan, P0000000 .000
    Jordan Walden, P0000000 .000
2B - Ramiro Pena (1, Samardzija)
HR - Dan Uggla (2, Takahashi)
RBI - Dan Uggla (2), Ramiro Pena 2 (4), Tim Hudson (1)
2-OUT RBI - Ramiro Pena 2 (2), Tim Hudson (1)
SB - B.J. Upton 2 (3, 3rd base off Samardzija/Navarro, 2nd base off Samardzija/Navarro)
CS - Jason Heyward (1, 2nd base by Rondon/Navarro)
Team LOB - 6
E - Dan Uggla (1, Dropped fly)
Atlanta Braves
Tim Hudson (W,1-0) 6.2311270 3.27
Luis Avilan (H,1) 1.1200010 0.00
Jordan Walden 1000030 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 102-66, Luis Avilan 27-19, Jordan Walden 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 7-7, Luis Avilan 2-1
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 26, Luis Avilan 6, Jordan Walden 3
Game Information
Attendance - 45800
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Ted Barrett