Hudson wins in return; Braves in 1st-place tie

The Braves didn’t give Tim Hudson much run support in his first game off the disabled list, failing to take advantage of prime scoring opportunities. But they were up against Pittsburgh, and it doesn’t take much to outscore these Pirates.

Dan Uggla’s bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning put the Braves ahead and got Hudson the decision in a 4-3 win against the Pirates on Sunday before a crowd of 30,419 at Turner Field.

“It was exciting,” Hudson said after giving up two runs and six hits in five innings in his season debut, five months and one day after he underwent back surgery.

“You’ve got the big stadium and the fans and major league hitters over there ready to try to knock it down your throat. It was fun,” he said. “It’s great to be back and try to earn my paycheck.”

Martin Prado’s seventh-inning leadoff homer added an important insurance run for the Braves, who won for the 14th time in 18 games despite going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position, including 0-for-3 in the fifth inning when they loaded the bases with one out.

“First of all, their pitching staff – they’re good,” Prado said. “They don’t give up in that situation where we’ve got the bases loaded. They make the pitch. We got good at-bats, but that’s one of those days where you’re going to take whatever they give you.

“He walked Uggla in that situation, so we knew from there that we had a pretty good shot to win the game.”

Pirates starter Kevin Correia (1-1) walked Uggla to bring in the go-ahead run with one out — not the sort of game-winning RBI to which Uggla and his violent swing  are typically associated.

“I’m [usually] up there to hack, try to get two or three ribbies rather than just one,” he said. “But in that situation you’ve got to take anything you can get. If they’re going to walk you, you’ve got to try and let them walk you. In that situation I was able to foul a couple off and he ended up walking me.”

The Braves moved into a first-place tie with Washington in the National League after the Nationals lost to the Dodgers on Sunday.

The Pirates have a league-low 49 runs in 21 games and have lost nine times in games in which opponents scored four or fewer runs.

Pittsburgh got a run in the ninth against Braves closer Craig Kimbrel when Jose Tabata doubled with one out, advanced on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch. The Braves contended the pitch hit the foot of batter Garrett Jones.

“Coming in here and looking at the replay, it did [hit him in the foot],” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “But it’s a tough play [to call].”

The was the first run charged to Kimbrel in a save situation this season. He struck out Jones to end the game for his eighth save in as many opportunities.

Hudson had to work plenty on a warm afternoon to limit the Pirates to two runs in five innings with umpire Doug Eddings calling a tight strike zone.

Hudson (1-0) had two walks and six strikeouts while throwing 63 strikes in 96 pitches. In the fourth inning he came off the mound to chat with Eddings after the umpire took offense to the way Hudson looked at him following a close pitch called a ball.

Jose Tabata’s bases-loaded groundball single up the right-field line gave the  Pirates a 2-0 lead in the second. The inning began with Pedro Alvarez’s single over the head of rookie shortstop Tyler Pastornicky, who mistimed his jump after losing the ball in what he said was a “glare” above the low backstop wall.

Pastornicky had a similar incident Saturday night, again on a second-inning single (Rod Barajas) that began a two-run Pirates. That ball deflected off the shortstop’s glove.

“It’s tough because the back wall there is not very tall,” Pastornicky said, ”… so the seats start early, and it’s like a whole bunch of white [shirts]. I have to get low to see the ball off the bat. Up in this area it’s tough to see during the day; at night it’s tough too, but definitely during the day it’s tough to see.”

Pastornicky made amends with an RBI double in the fourth inning that tied the score at 2-all. The Braves got an unearned run in the third on a Freddie Freeman sacrifice fly (the Pirates had two errors in the inning).

Michael Bourn had three hits and raised his average to .436 in nine games at Turner Field, where the leadoff man is 7-for-13 in the first three games of a four-game series that ends Monday night.

The Braves assured themselves of at least a split with the Pirates and haven’t lost a series since being swept in three games at New York during an 0-4 start to the season.

They’ll send Mike Minor (3-1, 3.42 ERA) to the mound against Pirates right-hander James McDonald (0-1, 2.78) on Monday as the Braves try to win their sixth consecutive series.

It was a successful return for Hudson, who had lumbar spine-fusion surgery in the offseason. The 34-year-old right-hander made four minor league rehab starts before returning to the rotation and giving the Braves a veteran presence they lacked with him out and Derek Lowe traded to Cleveland in the offseason.

“All the young [starting pitchers] have been doing great, man,” Prado said. “They’re young, but at the same time they know what they’re doing, and they’re getting better and better. Now with Huddy back, I think they’re going to feel more comfortable and more confident about it. We all are.”

90 comments Add your comment

ace

April 29th, 2012
5:10 pm

ace

April 29th, 2012
5:13 pm

Where are all the cap tippers?

ace

April 29th, 2012
5:15 pm

A great April for the braves. Let’s keep the roll going. Tip your cap Joe.

Art Pellerin

April 29th, 2012
5:16 pm

The last Pirate run should not have scored. The pitch he scored on hit the batter. Because the batter swung it was a strike and he was not awarded first base. However after hitting the batter’s foot, the ball was dead and the runner should not have been allowed to advance.

John

April 29th, 2012
5:19 pm

All about the veteran presents

ace

April 29th, 2012
5:24 pm

You made the right call Art. Too bad the umps didn’t.

Suicide Squeeze

April 29th, 2012
5:24 pm

Braves are really playing well right now and it seems like a lot of the guys are contributing… timely hits from Pastornicky and Bourn has to be one of the most underrated players in the league. Great to see Huddy back on the hill and I’m certainly glad to hear about Jair’s strong outing in Toledo.

What’s with Eddings? Seems he is too confrontational & too much of a hot head. Maybe he should spend some time in the minors and chill. Go Braves!

kevkat

April 29th, 2012
5:29 pm

I still think we should get rid of that Bourn guy..He has such a nonchalant attitude and is a horrible interview which to me is what really matters…:-)

J-Man

April 29th, 2012
5:29 pm

That UMP was awful today and very unprofessional

Paddy

April 29th, 2012
5:32 pm

Suicide Squeeze……Once an umpire gets to the big leagues, it takes an Act of Congress to get him demoted. If it is a hot day umpires have a short fuse just like players and managers!

Paddy

April 29th, 2012
5:35 pm

kavkat……get rid of Bourn because he is a bad interview? If that was the case, Eddie Haas would have lasted 3 days as Braves Mgr. in ‘85!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Feeanch

April 29th, 2012
5:43 pm

Pastornicky has put together some really quality ABs since his 3 days off. Freeman has as well just been unlucky. Freeman’s plate approach is something all the braves should try and emulate. Some nice baseball played of late. Tipping my cap…

Tom

April 29th, 2012
5:50 pm

That freaking last run cost me some money! bs

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

April 29th, 2012
5:54 pm

I didn’t place any wagers given it was Huddy’s first day back and the umpire scared me off. Maybe tomorrow night.

Great game by the Braves. They sure are battling at the plate. Hate to see us leave RISP, but at least we had a SAC FLY (something totally lacking last year).

Kendell Jones

April 29th, 2012
5:57 pm

Just who is the nicompoop who thinks the Braves should get rid of Bourn because he doesn’t interview well. Bourn is gettng paid to play baseball, and he plays a really good game. If all you have to say about a person is that he doesn’t interview well, you need to get a life, and get rid of your perfectionism.

Darryl Blackberry

April 29th, 2012
5:58 pm

I tip my cap to the 2012 Braves, who are making the 2011 Braves a distant memory for me.

Brave New World

April 29th, 2012
6:01 pm

BRAVES WIN! BRAVES WIN! BRAVES WIN!

jch

April 29th, 2012
6:04 pm

Could only watch on “game tracker” but it looked like the ump was blind! pitches were showing up CLEARLY as strikes he was calling balls… Tough first outing Huddy, glad it worked out!

Ekim

April 29th, 2012
6:10 pm

Tom, Tom, Tom…. don’t you know better than to bet on things over which you have no control?

Ekim

April 29th, 2012
6:12 pm

Sarcasm alert: Kavat was kidding when he made his comment about Bourne.

Tom

April 29th, 2012
6:12 pm

Ekim, lesson learned!

Who Me?

April 29th, 2012
6:14 pm

I think this is the first time the Pirates have lost when having a 2 run lead this year.

Sam

April 29th, 2012
6:14 pm

Well, Huddy’s back. Now if we can just rehabilitate Jair.

duroimo

April 29th, 2012
6:22 pm

It didn’t take long for “cap tipping” to appear.

Shhh!

April 29th, 2012
6:28 pm

Get rid of bourn?!?!?! He is on fire! He has been setting the table for scores and big wins for us! I say sign him and don’t let him get away!

74bravesjersey

April 29th, 2012
6:30 pm

Duroimo; I tip my cap to ya along w/ freddi.

74bravesjersey

April 29th, 2012
6:32 pm

Hey everyone of you Bloggers; “Freddi’s tippin’ his cap to ya.”

74bravesjersey

April 29th, 2012
6:36 pm

And you know what; I tip my cap to the best Dang Beat writer in the whole mlb country, my best Harley pal, the one & only Da DOB, Yeah Baby!

74bravesjersey

April 29th, 2012
6:39 pm

And you know what? Enter you’re comments here;- Fredi

74bravesjersey

April 29th, 2012
6:40 pm

How bout’ some cow tippin’?

Tampa Gator

April 29th, 2012
6:40 pm

Are the intelligent “baseball fans” in Atlanta still booing Bourn and wanting to trade him because he was not hitting during the first 4 games of the year?

74bravesjersey

April 29th, 2012
6:42 pm

I tip my cow for Huddy’s outing today.

Kendell Jones

April 29th, 2012
6:43 pm

To the guy who lost money on the game, all I have got to say about gambling on a baseball game doesn’t show me a lot of intelligence. Glad you lost your little wad of cash.

74bravesjersey

April 29th, 2012
6:45 pm

Yeah, unfortunately, I believe there’s a few still stragglin’ around, I wish I could tip a cow on one of em.”

bfred

April 29th, 2012
6:48 pm

The ‘FIRE BOURN!!!’ contingent is just seeing how many suckers will bite on their silly posts. He’s a premier leadoff man. Lighten up, people.

rfgh

April 29th, 2012
6:59 pm

Gee, so many people didnt get the sarcasm. No one is seerious about getting rid of Bourn.

74bravesjersey

April 29th, 2012
7:24 pm

The contingency has got to STOP! And you know what, I’ll tip you’re Cow if you don’t watch it. Eh, anybody want to go cow tippin’ tonight or do you want to go cap tipping?Let me know. Oh DOB, I knew I could count on you. So which one is it? Cow or Cap? Oh, Both, Cool, never done that before. – Freddi G.

bostonbravo

April 29th, 2012
7:25 pm

The Hudster is my favorite! Great guy!!

74bravesjersey

April 29th, 2012
7:30 pm

GO YOU HUDSTER! ( should’ve been a car) You pitchin’ like you hadn’t missed a start.

74bravesjersey

April 29th, 2012
7:34 pm

I’ll take a HUDSTER over a Holliday, or Halliday anytime! And you know what, I’m glad I had em’ back today. Finished 2& a-half boxes of cracker jacks durin’ da game. want some? – Fredi G

BrandonLee49

April 29th, 2012
7:57 pm

Good comment from Prado, reflective of Hudson’s return affing to the confidence of their young Pitching Staff… and the reflection from Uggla using his Smarts instead of his Ego, and allowing the Walk to bring in the First Run… Of Course That actually opened up Other Opportunities… Hitting Discipline taking over a sign of Maturity in a Good Ball-club.

DaveinNEPA

April 29th, 2012
8:05 pm

Agree with other posters that the HP ump stank today, but in all fairness he stank for both teams. A lot of pitches for the Pirates pitchers didn’t get called either. The guy just has a lousy strike zone. Good win though.

rc35

April 29th, 2012
8:25 pm

It’s nice to see a team with the comeback attitude again. I’m beginning to think this team may have what it takes for the long haul.

TaylorVol

April 29th, 2012
8:43 pm

Pastornicky has been hitting like a champ lately. Love the SB coming back in play (i.e. Bourn and Heyward). This team has got great chemistry! What a potential great way for Chipper to go out! Love this team!

doninacworth

April 29th, 2012
8:54 pm

What a great Day for us. Huddy is Back with a capital B and our SS looks
like a speedster with smarts and dare I say it….desire is on the faces of everyone. Keep on keeping on boys, have some fun cause you IS
the class of our league.

601Braves

April 29th, 2012
9:14 pm

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

April 29th, 2012
9:39 pm

no respect. I predicted D Lowe’s win and he is now 4-1. Watch him. He will kick it in Cleveland. His sinker works up there (much less heat and humidty — that is one reason Huddy struggled at times today).

balls dont sink in the heat.

go braves. good to see our best lineup out there in our 23rd game – finally.

john

April 29th, 2012
9:42 pm

Well done Huddy and rest of the Braves! It’s hard not to like this group of competitors, win or lose.

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

April 29th, 2012
9:50 pm

Well stated John, they push EVERY play and EVERY pitch.

Burt

April 29th, 2012
9:51 pm

Is it just me or did it take a REALLY long time for Fredi to get on the field when Eddings went after Hudson. You would think if he learned any thing from #6 it is that you have to defend your players. Fredi failed miserably in that respect today!

Del

April 29th, 2012
9:52 pm

Our Mr Pazstor is becoming quite the run producer on our team. How many times has he come through in critical situations this week? Three I believe. Way to go Pastor!!

JNick

April 29th, 2012
10:02 pm

@Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack’s BBQ, it’s a contract year for him, of course he’s going to pitch well…

BravesWin

April 29th, 2012
10:04 pm

@Paddy, I remember well the “Eddie Haas Show” hosted by Skip Caray. Eddie was a barrel o’ fun, Skip had to try to be polite…

bustersonly

April 29th, 2012
10:21 pm

What has happened to those Phillies Fans that always use to chime in on this blog, guess they got nothing to crow about, maybe there butting in on the Marlins blogs since thats the only team there ahead of.

lakejamesbraves

April 29th, 2012
10:23 pm

Bourn needs a contract extension NOW

HuH?

April 29th, 2012
10:36 pm

THIS IS THE WORST….WORST….WORST… SPORTS SECTION OF ANY MAJOR LEAGUE CITY….BAR NONE.

SUB PAR WRITERS, NO BOX SCORES, ALMOST NOTHING SAID ABOUT ANY TEAM EXCEPT FALCONS, BRAVES, UGA, TECH, ALABAMA(SOME).

SHULTZ AND THE BRADLEY ARE UBER LIBERALS WHO TAINT THEIR SUB-PAR WRITING EVEN FURTHER BY ADDING A LIBERAL SLANT.

THE GUY THAT COVERS TECH IS THE ONLY REAL PRO JOURNALIST.

least of the east

April 29th, 2012
10:39 pm

the better Bourn plays, the less likely he remains a Brave. he’ll be leaving after the season-like most guys we trade multiple players for.

PS if it’s true sinkers don’t work in the heat, why didn’t the Braves know that before they traded for Lowe ? suddenly, he’s the ace of the Indians staff ?

least of the east

April 29th, 2012
10:39 pm

correction: before the signed Lowe as free agent for $60 mill

bob

April 29th, 2012
10:50 pm

Why dont the braves put Medlen in the starting rotation and put Delgado inj the pen or send him down
till he gets his location down. Medlen has proved himself in the past.

Joshua

April 29th, 2012
11:15 pm

Bob, please see the 14,397 previous posts where that painfully obvious question has been answered to the point that you should be embarrassed for even asking.

gotigers72

April 29th, 2012
11:15 pm

Doug Eddings = Rabbit Ears = Poor Ump. Remember a few years back when he tried to goad Johnny Estrada into an altercation? Remember when he blew a crucial call in the WS when he was behind the plate? The ball hit the ground before the catcher caught it, or vice versa. Anyway, he blew the call as replay showed, and he blew the call today as replay showed. Get rid of the rabbit ears Dougie, you’re just a poor umpire, that’s all there is to it. One of the worst in the ML along with Bob Davidson, Angel Henandez and a couple of more.

Those calls that you missed today AND the one that you blew in the WS are done with your ears, not your eyes. You hear two sounds, as happened today, you know it hit off something before hitting BMac’s equipment. Go have your hearing checked. And quit being so dadblamed thin skinned.

Texas Brave

April 29th, 2012
11:41 pm

Missed the red jerseys today and glad to see Mac back.

Hudson Fan

April 29th, 2012
11:43 pm

Isn’t Hudson more like 36 (going on 37), not age 34 as mentioned in the article?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Hudson

JRW7

April 30th, 2012
12:17 am

1st place BRAVES!!!!

Hudson Fan

April 30th, 2012
12:21 am

Specifically, what were Hudson and Fredi arguing with the home plate umpire about in the 4th inning?

reckingball

April 30th, 2012
1:17 am

The homeplate umpire did not like the way that Hudson looked at him, after the he called a pitch by HUdson a ball, that was obvisiouly, in fact, a strike.
Roll Braves!

Tdawg

April 30th, 2012
1:48 am

Lowe almost always starts the season off like a cy young award candidate. Somewhere around the midpoint of the season, he starts his down hill slide.

Gonna be a long hot summer. Time will tell if the Bravos can keep the heat on.

Paddy

April 30th, 2012
7:23 am

Balls don’t sink well in humid weather? You better get a memo out to all ML baseball scouts that think differently

phil

April 30th, 2012
9:16 am

A tie for first is unacceptable…

I want first outright or not at all….

Fire FG!!

PEPr

April 30th, 2012
9:18 am

Although Lowe did not work out for the Braves, I’m glad he got his qame back together.

derek b

April 30th, 2012
9:24 am

I cant seem to find all the “doom & gloom” so-called Braves’ fans on here this morning. Looks like the bandwagon is full again…

Bobby's Chauffeur

April 30th, 2012
9:42 am

The way I see it, with our pitching staff, we will be OK for the long term. We have 8 position players that can be the hero at any time. We only need any three of them to be on their game and we will win a ton of games. Best pen in the majors. This team is fun to watch.

bustersonly

April 30th, 2012
9:42 am

derek b

Thats because things don’t appear as gloomy as they did before! You would have to be completely loco to bitch about anything now.

Ralph

April 30th, 2012
9:46 am

Right buster, hell we can’t even gripe about Durbin anymore. Anyway there isn’t much point blogging if your happy.

Ralph

April 30th, 2012
9:50 am

Although Lowe did not work out for the Braves, I’m glad he got his qame back together.

Yeah I think Cleveland should give us the other 10 million now.

Don

April 30th, 2012
10:09 am

The fact that the braves ignore it and the writers ignore it does not change the fact that there has been an Elephant In The Room – and there is no reason to think that he is not still there.
In the 6 or 7 years since Leo left as Pitching Coach – of all the large number of Starting Pitchers that the Braves have had in the rotation (for any length of time); almost every one has ended up being INJURED.
It is absolutely UNBELIEVABLE that the Braves have done nothing to change this. Pitching is still the most significant determining factor. And many times (perhaps most times) when a pitcher has a serious injury, he does not return to his former greatness.
Remember that this year we have FOUR out of our FIVE Starters coming off injuries (counting Medlen who was a Starter when he was injured). It remains to be seen how many of these will return to their former effectiveness.
Granted the Braves have a wealth of ADDITIONAL youg pitching talent.
With their four injured pitchers and this wealth of additional young talent, this should have formed the basis for the team being competitive for years to come. But THE POINT IS are they going to allow this PITCHER INJURY MILL to continue until all this is destroyed?
It is absoluely unbelievable that this is being ignored.

Ralph

April 30th, 2012
10:19 am

Don

Perhaps Leo was just extremely lucky!

reckingball

April 30th, 2012
10:34 am

McDowell causes injuries, and there will not be any injuries if Mazzone is the pitching coach?
How does McDowell cause injuries to pitchers?

CMC

April 30th, 2012
11:02 am

Don,

Are you really Rafael in disguise? You use the CAPS button like he does. The only thing missing was the LIBERTY CHEAPIA reference and the ongoing rant about Matt Diaz.

doninacworth

April 30th, 2012
11:07 am

Hey “Huh!” If you think the AJC is bad try watching SportsCenter. They don’t pay the Hawks or Braves the time of day… they are an after thought. Nope, I’ll take our AJC coverage any day! Oh, do you still watch SC for 15 seconds of Atlanta coverage out of 1/2 hour?

Mikey

April 30th, 2012
11:35 am

Don, Just checked the ML Disabled list and over 50% of the players currently DL are pitchers. Brian Wilson, Brad Lidge, Chris Carpenter, Cliff Lee, Mike Pelfrey, Jeff Karstens 5 Dodgers…….none play for the Braves

Mikey

April 30th, 2012
11:52 am

Larry, Can’t wait to get to play those high flying Marlins & Phillies so we can put some distance between us and that terrific Washington team that just got swept by the Dodgers…by the way the same team we took 2/3….don’t let facts influence your bias!

Chuck

April 30th, 2012
11:52 am

Huh? sit down and shut up,If you don’t like the blog find you another one!

wreckmaniac

April 30th, 2012
12:14 pm

Braves are looking good but they’re still chasing the Phillies. There are no bad teams in the NL east and each one will go into some sort of win 15 out of 20 run during the season. The problem is that the Phils will go into a win 30 out of 40 run. This season will be decided by Minor and Beachy. If those two win 28 games it will be a fine year.

441North

April 30th, 2012
12:18 pm

The home plate ump missed several pitches and Huddy had a right to be pissed, yet he handled it with class. How did that guy get to the majors ? ? ?

Ed

April 30th, 2012
12:25 pm

OK folks. This is my other stupid comment for the week. Bourne seems to be able to get on base regularly. He is followed by Prado .Prado will never be asked to bunt to get Michael into scoring position. I think MIchael should be followed by someone who is allowed to bunt, Certainly not. Freeman, McCan, Ugla, Chipper or Hayward. Pastor is not experienced enough. OK, here it comes….. Why not have the pitcher batting second?? Feel free to straighten me out folks.

WildTurk

April 30th, 2012
12:35 pm

Hey DOB, in an earlier blog you documented Bourn’s lack of production during the first couple weeks of the season. And rightly so at the time. It appears he’s turned things around and his productivity is a major key to the Braves’ recent string of series wins. Perhaps another blog is in order to show how much his numbers have changed in recent weeks.

myside

April 30th, 2012
12:51 pm

It just does not make sense that each umpire is allowed to decide his own strike zone. The batters knees don’t change and the plate remains the same size. They apply the rule book to the players but not to themselves.
Not all of them have this flaw but, like a rotten apple, it doesn’t take many.

reckingball

April 30th, 2012
2:08 pm

Ed,, go onto the newest DOB blog ‘BRAVES CAN TAKE SOLE POSSESSION OF 1st PLACE’ and ask that question.

reckingball

April 30th, 2012
2:10 pm

BTW Ed, It looks like the big majority of Braves pitchers are not that good at bunting, anyways.

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