Hudson sharp as Braves win, split series in S.F.

SAN FRANCISCO – After giving up four runs in the first inning of the Braves’ road-trip opener at Washington, Tim Hudson came out pitching like a man determined not to give an inch to the Giants on Sunday night.

Staked to a two-run lead in the first inning, Hudson took a three-hit shutout to the seventh and the Braves won 7-1 to split a four-game series with San Francisco at AT&T Park.

Hudson (13-5) won his seventh consecutive decision and Juan Francisco, Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman homered for the Braves, who are back to 4-1/2 games behind NL East leader Washington. The Nationals were swept by Philadelphia and have lost four in a row.

“It was important to at least come out of here with a split,” said Hudson, who allowed one run, five hits and one walk in seven innings, moving to 7-0 in his past 10 starts. “Any time you lose the first two in a four-game series, it’s tough to come out with a split. But we were able to come out here and get a couple of runs early, and I was able to throw strikes and make those guys put it in play.”

He faced four batters or fewer in every inning until the seventh, when the Giants loaded the bases with one out and Hudson got out of the jam by yielding only a sacrifice fly.

“Huddy’s our ace,” said catcher Brian McCann, who had his first three-hit game since June 6. “We feel very confident with him on the mound, and we feel like in big games he’s even better. We expect him to do stuff like that, because he’s that good.”

Heyward and Freeman homered on consecutive pitches in the ninth inning, and each finished with three homers in the series.

“Terrific [series for] both of them,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Jason keeps coming up big. And when he doesn’t come up big offensively, it seems like he does something on the basepath or with a defensive play.”

Heyward has six homers in 10 games at AT&T Park, including one in each of the last three in the series (he didn’t start the opener).

The Braves beat Tim Lincecum (7-14) for the fourth straight time and moved to 3-4 on a 10-game trip that concludes in San Diego with a series starting Monday night. The Padres have won seven in a row.

The first pitch was just after 5 p.m. on a sunny afternoon, and shadows crept across the field for much of the game.

“It was a day where you definitely needed to go out there and pound the strike zone,” said Hudson, who has a 3.19 ERA over his past 10 starts, including nine Braves wins.  “It wasn’t exactly easy to see out there from a hitter’s point of view. It was my job to pound the strike zone and make them try to hurt me that way, not give them free passes.”

The Alabama native started his major league career across the bay in Oakland, and Hudson has handled the Giants since moving back home to the South. He’s 8-4 in 17 career starts against San Francisco, including 6-0 with a 2.48 ERA in his past nine starts.

He had a 2-0 lead after a first inning that saw Braves get two walks and two hits including a bloop single by McCann. He’s struggled while playing with a frayed labrum and cyst in his right shoulder, but McCann had a big game with three hits including a bunt single up the third-base line in the eighth to beat the type of defensive shift many teams use against him.

Francisco’s solo homer off Lincecum in the fourth went out in the deepest part of the ballpark, sailing an estimated 454 feet. Francisco filled in for Chipper Jones, who missed his second consecutive start with a sore oblique and back.

It was the retiring third baseman’s last scheduled game at San Francisco, and Jones got a standing ovation when he pinch-hit for Hudson in the eighth inning.

His primary backup Francisco has done good work, and Braves third basemen have totaled 21 homers and 80 RBIs. Only two NL teams had more homers or more RBIs from the position before Sunday.

Lincecum was charged with five hits and three runs in five innings. After winning his first five regular-season starts against the Braves, Lincecum has lost five of his past six including four in a row. He has a decision in all eleven regular-season starts against them.

Paul Janish’s two-out triple in the sixth pushed the Braves lead to 5-0, a comfortable lead for any pitcher but particularly for Hudson. He improved his career record to 152-6 in starts when his team has scored at least four runs while he was in the game.

The pitcher also had two hits  to make him 10-for-32 (.313) with five RBIs in his past 16 games.

“Nice game, Huddy,” McCann shouted across the clubhouse afterward.

“I pitched pretty good, too,” Hudson said, smiling.

Atlanta won nationally televised games Saturday and Sunday to split the four-game series against the Giants, who had won five in a row and 15 out of 21 before the weekend losses in front of packed houses. They’ve had 149 consecutive sellouts at AT&T Park.

“It’s good to salvage this series after going down 0-2 to a team that was as hot as they were,” McCann said. “To win the last two – you would take a split coming out here playing a team that’s hot.”

58 comments Add your comment

Matt

August 26th, 2012
11:06 pm

Matthew19:30

Matt

August 26th, 2012
11:09 pm

Class act by SF fans for Chipper’s standing ovation.

BravesfaninAugusta

August 26th, 2012
11:10 pm

Wish we could face RHPs every day

BravesfaninAugusta

August 26th, 2012
11:10 pm

Keep Uggla on the bench

gcs

August 26th, 2012
11:11 pm

I am not certain but I think the Braves have won every game that Uggla has not started this year.

Ken Stallings

August 26th, 2012
11:17 pm

Things were starting to look pretty grim for the Braves. But, two consecutive wins against the Giants really helped. The Braves picked up a game on the Nats to go to 4.5 games back in the NL East, plus maintain their lead for the Wild Card.

The Braves will have to make certain that Jason Heyward gets on the plane for San Diego as he won’t wish to leave San Francisco!

Last two games allowed the Braves to salvage a better performance over these critical ten games against the upper echelon of the National League. 4-6 is not the ideal goal the Braves were looking for, but it keeps the Braves in the hunt for what they want to achieve.

TNBrave

August 26th, 2012
11:22 pm

Good work, Bravos! Had they won the extra inning game against Washington they would have been 4-3 against two of the best teams in baseball, instead 3-4.

Stephen

August 26th, 2012
11:27 pm

Ken,
Are you already giving up hope that the Braves can’t win the series in San Diego…they could go 5-5 or 6-4. They kinda owned the Padres so far.

Just Asking?

August 26th, 2012
11:31 pm

Matt, i couldn’t agree more. I just posted a vent to that affect.

Delbert D.

August 26th, 2012
11:32 pm

Tape measure shot by Francisco. Good work by that guy, changing his mechanics this season.

Tina

August 26th, 2012
11:39 pm

Please no Uggla tomorrow.

Michael

August 26th, 2012
11:40 pm

Seems that Fredi finally came to understand that he is the manager, and he needs to make out the linneup cards, not any player, including Uggla. They all need to know they are professionals and need to do the best for the team wins. Just image if Yankees manager runs out someone like Uggla no matter what. They need a sense of urgency not only in September, but in all games, all season long. This is what my beloved Braves lack………

Teddy B

August 26th, 2012
11:42 pm

J-Hey the Giant Slayer. I like the sound of that. Bombs away, Heyward is playing so well that I am elated to watch my favorite Bravo destroy opposing pitchers this season. If he keeps this up his average will look very good at the end of the year, we may have quite a few playoff/World Series game wins, and hopefully he can make it to be a 30/30 player, although 20/20 or 25/25 seems more realistic. Glad he picked up the SB tonight! Keep em coming J-Hey!

Remember when people said he was the next Albert Pujols? Seems like a possibility at this point, maybe just maybe he can be even better!

Ken Stallings

August 26th, 2012
11:44 pm

I was only speaking of the ten games against the top teams in the NL. That does not include the Padres. The Braves went 4-6 over the toughest ten-game stretch of their post All-Star schedule. Now, the Braves have only six games remaining against teams with a .500 or better record.

Kris

August 26th, 2012
11:45 pm

Couldn’t agree more Michael. What Fred G lacks more than anything is a sense of urgency. It’s like us fans have more will and desire to win than the manager of the Braves. I understand he has personal feelings towards certain players but it’s almost September! Fredi G cost single handedly cost us the playoffs last year. Why does he not have sense of urgency YET? Please fire him. PLEASE ASAP!

Jerry Willard

August 26th, 2012
11:59 pm

Ehhhh wrong. You guys aren’t manager for a reason. Stop trying to play manager, GM, etc. Best thing you little cry babies can do is shut your YAPPERS.

Go Braves.

Lobosolo

August 26th, 2012
11:59 pm

Kris, please tell us how you can surmise what is going on in Fredi’s head from a seat in the living room… If the Braves sat every player you armchairs wanted them to, they’d be working with an unworkable roster… Fredi SINGLE HANDEDLY cost the Braves the playoffs last year? Really? The lack of execution, injuries, etc., etc., had nothing to do with it? Wow, you are the brilliant one… Don’t see “your” management team firing a man who has led his team to the top five in baseball… Likely he will be rewarded at the end of the year if you ask me, and will draw serious consideration from the people (who do know more than you armchairs do) who vote for manager of the year…. Knee-jerk armchairism… Been following baseball very long?

Lobosolo

August 27th, 2012
12:00 am

Thank you, Jerry… My sentiments exactly…. the kleenex quotient for these “fans” must be off the charts…

Jerry Willard

August 27th, 2012
12:07 am

I don’t know what will happen to Fred G, but I am rooting for the guy to succeed. He is a very likable guy. His good friend is Bobby Cox and I think more than anything Fredi wants to emulate him.
I think players like to play for Fredi, as they did for Bobby, and they play hard.

Ken Stallings

August 27th, 2012
12:18 am

Hard to say for certain, but I suspect Fredi has told Uggla that he’s taken it as far as he can. I think Uggla is going to start spending significant time on the bench until he has worked with Greg Walker enough in extended BP to show he’s got a better idea at the plate. I’m thinking Fredi has concluded that he has no choice but to run with Prado and Pasternicky at second base and then use Reed and Prado in left field. Uggla may get a few starts at second, but he’s going to have to hit the ball to stay there.

Braveoneastside

August 27th, 2012
12:20 am

Made comment yesterday Heyward is an ATL version of Willie McCovey and as someone mentioned perhaps that’s jumping the gun, but he’s special. Please see McCovey’s 1st 3 years for a comparison. Remember Willie also had a rough Sophmore Slump- in fact send down briefly.
Let’s keep it up big guy & along w/ Freeman- 60 HR’s between them should be the yearly norm.

Jerry Willard

August 27th, 2012
12:22 am

I like Reed better as a pinch hitter than a starter, and I bet his numbers say so, too.

Semper Fi Braves fan

August 27th, 2012
12:23 am

No way Fredi G figured it out.

A) he started reading the blogs
B) Wren told him, you’re going to cost us both a job.. Here’s the game plan and line up.

ChipperisGod

August 27th, 2012
12:34 am

Looked very good tonight in all aspects of the game minus that idiotic squeeze by FG that endangers the health of arguably our ace or second starter, and our only SS right now. Just foolish.

Other than that, it was a great outing by Hudson, offense was solid, defense was spectacular. BP was great for the most part, too. Way to rebound after dropping those first two games in the series.

Hope Chip’s ok. We’re going to need him. Despite the fact that Padres are hot, Chip shouldn’t rush back into it. Still think it was also foolish to PH him, but Chipper knows when can and can’t play, so I guess it was ok to PH him tonight. Still I wouldn’t want to risk anything.

Great win, go Braves! Hard part of the schedule is over, take care of business, beat the Nats and Pirates and we should be ok in September.

Hope the Nats are starting to lose it. Davey getting mad at Rizzo makes me think he’s getting ready to shut down Strasberg or there is some bad blood in other areas between them as well. Can’t sleep on the Phils anymore. Gotta keep taking it to them, too.

BravesfaninAugusta

August 27th, 2012
12:36 am

Sorry guys you’re wrong …. Uggla will play at least 2 of 3 against the Padres

Melvin Flowers Macon Ga.

August 27th, 2012
1:18 am

Remember Andrew Jones, He Stop Hiting A Great Center Felder For The Braves But The Braves Wave Him.
Why Not Wave Dan-Uggla. He Have Competely Stop Hitting.
I Think The Kids In The World Series On ESPN Hits Better Than He Does.
He Have Completly Lost It.

My, my

August 27th, 2012
5:07 am

Yeesh. This is embarrassing

buttermaker

August 27th, 2012
5:37 am

go braves ,stay foused

tim

August 27th, 2012
6:46 am

Great game fellows, please pretty please keep Danny Uggla on the pine, this is going on two years now it is no longer a slump it is what it is now. I think it’s something between the ears the guy is trying so hard it s just weighing him down. Maybe hypnosis I don’t know not that smart, but for right now he is best served sitting down. Here comes stormy Monday.

Papa Smurf

August 27th, 2012
6:51 am

College football season is here and the Braves are in the hunt. Life doesn’t get much better than that! Go Braves and Go Dawgs!

Armchair Observer

August 27th, 2012
6:56 am

buttermaker, are you already soused?

fladawg

August 27th, 2012
7:29 am

Maybe i am the only person in the world who doesn’t know but what is the latest on Simmons?

Carl Farvman

August 27th, 2012
7:41 am

Uggla will be back in the lineup against the Padres. You can bet on it.

DawgNole

August 27th, 2012
7:52 am

Can’t believe I’m writing this, but the Braves just won two straight road games against a contender–and both were nationally televised!. FINALLY, a strong showing on the big stage. Now, don’t fall off and spoil it against the crap part of the schedule. The door is open for you–STRIDE through it!

DawgNole

August 27th, 2012
7:58 am

Michael
August 26th, 2012
11:40 pm

They need a sense of urgency not only in September, but in all games, all season long. This is what my beloved Braves lack………
____________________

Yup. Never have understood fans/bloggers who say “Relax, it’s only April” during those early-season losses. Sure would be nice to have a few of those back right about now. They all count the same.

DaltonBrave

August 27th, 2012
7:58 am

Congratulations, Bravos! Keep up the good work and keep Uggla on the bench. Ha, even MSN.com had an article relating to Uggla’s struggles and not living up to his contract. Boy, the Dodgers sure did load up over the weekend. Keep the winning streak alive, Braves.

BobDawg

August 27th, 2012
8:07 am

The best thing for Uggla is to break his 30 Homer streak/year up so he won’t swing for the fences on every pitch… Spot starts for him the rest of the way and last year will dictate how Fredi G. manages the rest of the way.

Paul In Richmond

August 27th, 2012
8:22 am

Darn the luck – Jone’s need for rest just happened to keep him from Facing strausburg and Lincicum. Oh poo…

old scout

August 27th, 2012
8:23 am

The Braves won the game, and Uggla and Jones didn’t play. So why are so many people obsessed with Uggla?

Oldham

August 27th, 2012
8:27 am

Yay we, boo they.

a fan

August 27th, 2012
8:35 am

On September 1 we can bring up Constanza to platoon with Johnson in LF and keep prado at 2nd base.

RBI

August 27th, 2012
8:43 am

Did I see McCann lay down a bunt?!

Russ Nixon

August 27th, 2012
8:48 am

Maybe try Pastornicki at 2nd for the series. Uggla just needs a break, working too hard!

JNick

August 27th, 2012
9:25 am

Wonder if we could get the Dodgers to take on Uggla’s salary…they seem to have deep wallets.

Mr. Snarky

August 27th, 2012
11:04 am

Fun game.
SF is good but not great. Watch out for LA now…they are loaded.

BravesBanter31

August 27th, 2012
11:10 am

ATTN BRAVES Fans: Will Dan Uggla and Brian McCann cost Atlanta a shot at postseason glory? Newest blog at http://bravesbanter.com/. Update on the Starting Pitcher rotation battle… Who is the odd man out as of today, and would Kris Medlen be the Game 1 starter of a playoff series?? Old favs like how to score Hank Aaron seats for UNDER $50 and eat&drink for FREE at Turner! All at http://bravesbanter.com/…. Don’t Stop the Chop!!!

Long time fan

August 27th, 2012
11:59 am

That was a good win Sunday night and Saturday was okay. A pair of solid starting performances and key hits when needed. Janish’s triple on Sunday was huge. This guy is better than .203 at the plate. He hits everything pitched but at someone.

BrandonLee49

August 27th, 2012
12:00 pm

Paul Janish put the game away with his Triple… Way to Hit Big when it Counts !!

[...] Hunter Pence, .059 Least Valuable Giant: Tim Lincecum, 47 game score Big plays: 1st more… Hudson sharp as Braves win, split series in S.F. – blogs.ajc.com 08/27/2012 SAN FRANCISCO – After giving up four runs in the first inning of [...]

Brave New World

August 27th, 2012
2:36 pm

Paul Janish a.k.a “Jan The Man”

Largo

August 27th, 2012
3:03 pm

Best rhythm Huddy has had in many starts. His pitching was a thing of beauty.

Bob Davis

August 27th, 2012
4:57 pm

Funny how the new hitting instructors were able to “fix” Heyward, but can’t do a darn thing with Uggla. What’s up with that??

double

August 27th, 2012
5:07 pm

Philly coming to life.Hudson did not spot the other team any runs to begin game.Best I remember seeing him.

bostonbravo

August 27th, 2012
5:19 pm

“Melvin Flowers” for manager!!

bostonbravo

August 27th, 2012
5:21 pm

“Brave New World” actually in would be ‘Jan the Mon’

[...] Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said after Heyward homered Sunday for the third consecutive game in the four-game series at San Francisco, after being out of the lineup for the first game. “And when he doesn’t come up big [...]

BravesBanter31

August 27th, 2012
6:49 pm

ATTN Braves Fans: Fresh, New Voice of Braves baseball at http://bravesbanter.com/. Newest blog published minutes ago about what Atlanta should do with Heyward this offseason and just how hot he has been… Check it out and other favorites in the 10 Tips for all Braves Fans going to Turner Field.. all at http://bravesbanter.com/. Don’t Stop the Chop!!!

RunninWithTheDawgs

August 27th, 2012
7:05 pm

I love this. The Braves are getting hot and the Nats are slumping. GO BRAVES !

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