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Chicks Dig the Long Ball: Tim Hudson Does it All in Atlanta Braves Win Over Toronto Blue Jays

June 21st, 2011 at 9:22 AM
By Cody Fields

Tim Hudson did it all for the Atlanta Braves Monday night as he pitched eight-plus shutout innings and belted his second career home run against the Toronto Blue Jays.

In what was a quintessential pitchers' duel, Ricky Romero's (6-7. 2.98 ERA) only mistake came in the seventh inning. David Ross lead off the frame with an infield hit and reached second on a throwing error by former Brave Yunel Escobar in his return to Atlanta. After Nate McLouth moved him over with a grounder to the right side, Ross was thrown out by Escobar on a fielder's choice, allowing Diory Hernandez to reach first. Romero then missed the outside corner, instead leaving a fastball over the heart of the plate, which Hudson launched for the only offensive output of the game.

"It's hard to say there's anything better," Hudson said. "You know, obviously, throw a shutout and hit a homer… It was a lot of fun."

Hudson may have thrown one of the best games of his life; the only hit he had given up through eight was to J.P. Arencibia in the second inning. He only other baserunner was Adam Lind in the second because of a fielding error by Freddie Freeman. Hudson also struck out eight Blue Jays on the night, including his 1,600th for his career.

"For a sinkerball pitcher who doesn't strike out a lot of people, I'm proud of it," Hudson said.

Though he came out to pitch in the ninth, Hudson gave up his only walk of the game to Mike McCoy, followed by an infield hit by Escobar, resulting in Fredi Gonzalez making the move for Craig Kimbrel.

"My four-year-old daughter could have been catching [Hudson] tonight, with that stuff," David Ross said. "He did a great job."

The most overpowering performance, however, may have been when Kimbrel earned his 20th save of the year. He struck out the side in the heart of the Blue Jays' batting order – Corey Patterson, Jose Bautista and Adam Lind – in order.

Hudson's performance brought his ERA down to 3.73 and his record up to 6-6.

Nate McLouth and Jason Heyward each stole bases, bringing the Braves' total to 23 for the season. Jordan Schafer has eight of those since being called up May 24.

The 2-0 win brought the Braves within 4.5 games of the idle Philadelphia Phillies for NL East lead.

Chipper Jones still has not played since June 16 due to a strained right abductor muscle. He is an eyeing a return Tuesday night.

Tuesday's 7:10 start will feature Mike Minor (0-2, 5.47 ERA) and Toronto's Zach Stewart (0-0, 2.57 ERA).

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Craig Kimbrel, Tim Hudson, Toronto Blue Jays, Yunel Escobar

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