|Atlanta (55-41) «||0||0||2||0||0||3||0||0||1||6||9||0|
|Chi. White Sox (37-56)||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||4||9||0|
CHICAGO -- Brian McCann picked up where he left off before the All-Star break.
McCann hit his third homer in as many games to put Atlanta ahead and Tim Hudson (7-7) earned his third straight win to give the NL East-leading Braves a 6-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
After homers in his last two games before the break, McCann slammed his 13th homer in the sixth inning, a three-run shot that broke open a 2-2 game. McCann also homered in three straight games last season, from July 18 to 21.
"I've been feeling good for a while now," McCann said. "I think it takes every player in baseball four, five innings to get back into the swing of things when you take four or five days off. It was nice to get a win in the first game back."
Hudson, meanwhile, shined in his third start after a 10-start winless streak. He pitched 7 1-3 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits while striking out four and walking two. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 27th save in 29 outings.
"It's been a while since I've gotten a win here, about 15 years," Hudson said with a laugh. "I don't think I have a lot of games pitched here, but when I have pitched here it hasn't been too pretty at times. It's nice to finally get in the right column."
White Sox starter John Danks (2-7) took his seventh loss in his last 10 starts. Danks pitched seven innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, including homers by McCann and Andrelton Simmons. He struck out four and walked none. Danks also uncorked a wild pitch before McCann's homer.
"I wasn't quite as sharp as I would've liked," Danks said.
Atlanta, which lost two of three before the All-Star break, snapped a five-game interleague losing streak to the White Sox.
It was Chicago's eighth loss in its last 11 games, 22 of 31 and 32 of 45. The White Sox are 19 games under .500 for the first time since Sept. 27, 2007, when they were 70-89.
Atlanta took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Chris Johnson, who had three hits in the game, led off with a single and scored on Simmons' ninth home run, to left field.
Chicago tied the game in the bottom of the third. Gordon Beckham led off with a single, but was forced at second on a fielder's choice to Josh Phegley. Alexei Ramirez singled, his first of three hits, advancing Phegley to second, and then Alex Rios followed with a two-run double deep to right-center.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura pulled Rios out of the game after the sixth because he felt his player didn't give full effort running to first in that double play.
"We just expect more than that," Ventura said. "There is just expectations and we are not starting the second half off that way. It was simple, he will back in (Saturday). Tonight, that's what happens when you don't run."
The Braves broke the game open with a three-run sixth. Joey Terdoslavich and Justin Upton both had singles and then advanced to second and third on a wild pitch by Danks. McCann then hit a two-out, 3-2 pitch for his 13th home run, giving the Braves a 5-2 lead.
"I made a bad pitch. It kind of got to a point, for lack of a better way to put it, I ran out of things to throw to him," Danks said.
Chicago scored two runs in the eighth to get within 5-4. Alejandro De Aza led off with walk and stole second and scored on Ramirez's RBI double to left. Jeff Keppinger's bloop single to right scored Ramirez.
The Braves added an insurance run in the ninth when Upton singled off White Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom, went to second on an infield out and scored on Johnson's single to right.
"We got some timely hits, the three-run homer there, the two-run homer by Simmons that put us on the board and then that nice at-bat with Chris Johnson getting in that extra run in the ninth," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
|Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel and catcher Brian McCann celebrate after Kimbrel nails down his 27th save in 29 tries. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Jose Constanza, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.231|
|Reed Johnson, CF||4||0||0||0||0||3||1||.248|
|Justin Upton, RF||4||2||2||0||0||0||0||.258|
|Brian McCann, C||4||1||1||3||0||0||1||.290|
|Evan Gattis, DH||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.246|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.198|
|Chris Johnson, 3B||4||1||3||1||0||0||0||.336|
|Andrelton Simmons, SS||4||1||1||2||0||0||3||.243|
|Joe Terdoslavich, 1B||3||1||1||0||0||1||0||.211|
|HR - Brian McCann (13, Danks), Andrelton Simmons (9, Danks)|
|RBI - Brian McCann 3 (35), Chris Johnson (32), Andrelton Simmons 2 (32)|
|2-OUT RBI - Brian McCann 3 (13), Chris Johnson (19)|
|Team LOB - 2|
|DP - Uggla-Simmons-Terdoslavich, Uggla-Simmons-Terdoslavich-Simmons-Uggla-Terdoslavich|
|Tim Hudson (W,7-7)||7.1||8||4||4||2||4||0||4.08|
|Luis Avilan (H,15)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.38|
|Jordan Walden (H,9)||0.1||1||0||0||0||1||0||2.32|
|Craig Kimbrel (S,27)||1||0||0||0||1||3||0||1.49|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 99-65, Luis Avilan 5-3, Jordan Walden 9-6, Craig Kimbrel 25-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 14-2, Luis Avilan 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 30, Luis Avilan 1, Jordan Walden 2, Craig Kimbrel 4|
|Chicago (A.L.) White Sox|
|Alejandro De Aza, CF||4||1||1||0||1||2||2||.270|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS||4||2||3||1||0||1||0||.291|
|Alex Rios, RF||3||0||1||2||0||0||1||.270|
|Casper Wells, RF||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.164|
|Adam Dunn, DH||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.210|
|Jeff Keppinger, 1B||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||.249|
|Conor Gillaspie, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.248|
|Dayan Viciedo, LF||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.243|
|Gordon Beckham, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.333|
|Josh Phegley, C||3||1||0||0||0||0||1||.219|
|a-walked for Phegley in the 9th|
|2B - Alexei Ramirez (25, Hudson), Alex Rios (20, Hudson)|
|RBI - Alexei Ramirez (22), Alex Rios 2 (42), Jeff Keppinger (26)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alex Rios 2 (17), Jeff Keppinger (12)|
|SB - Alejandro De Aza (11, 2nd base off Hudson/McCann)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Outfield Assists - Dayan Viciedo 1|
|DP - A. Ramirez-Beckham-Keppinger|
|Chicago (A.L.) White Sox|
|John Danks (L,2-7)||7||7||5||5||0||4||2||4.52|
|WP - John Danks (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Danks 105-76, Nate Jones 18-11, David Purcey 4-1, Matt Lindstrom 17-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Danks 8-7, Nate Jones 1-0, Matt Lindstrom 1-1|
|Batters Faced - John Danks 26, Nate Jones 4, David Purcey 1, Matt Lindstrom 4|
|Attendance - 25613|
|Game Time - 2:51|
|Temperature - 91|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Hal Gibson, Third Base - Al Porter|