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Jose Constanza Provides Spark as Tim Hudson Leads Atlanta Braves Past New York Mets

August 6th, 2011 at 9:14 AM
By Cody Fields

Tim Hudson continued his hot streak Friday as he took the hill for the Atlanta Braves, in turn shutting down the New York Mets for a 4-1 win in the series opener.

The Atlanta right-hander went seven strong innings – the sixth straight start in which he has done that – en route to his 11th win. The only run he gave up came in the first inning on an RBI double from David Wright.

After that, it was all smooth sailing.

"Huddy for me was the key to the whole thing today," Fredi Gonzalez said. "He was nails."

At one point, Hudson had sat down nine straight Mets, and he held them to three hits and one run while giving up two walks. He kept Jose Reyes in check with an 0-for-4 night, meaning Hudson did not have a base stealing threat on base.

The Braves' offense, however, did muster some run support, originating on an RBI triple in the second inning from Jose Constanza, who goes by "Georgie" in the clubhouse in a reference to George Costanza. Michael Bourn followed him with a sacrifice fly.

Constanza is hitting .407 in seven games since being called up.

"He has put himself in a position where you’ve got play him, you’ve got to think about playing him," Gonzalez said. "He’s taken advantage of his situation to come up here and put the ball in play and getting on base and creating a little havoc, where you’ve got to think about it."

Dan Uggla then waited until the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to 26 games via a two-run single.

Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel then worked the eighth and ninth innings, in what has been a rare showing in recent days. Both relievers threw scoreless innings to secure Kimbrel's 33rd save.

Chipper Jones sat yet again with a strained quadriceps. He has not played since July 31 and has not started since July 25.

The Braves kept pace with the Philadelphia Phillies, who blew out the San Francisco Giants while they were not fighting with them,  and are still 8.5 games out of first place. The Arizona Diamondbacks dropped to 3.5 games back of the Braves in the Wild Card with their loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tommy Hanson (11-6, 3.20 ERA) will take the mound Saturday for the Braves against the Mets'  Jon Niese (10-8, 3.94 ERA) at 7:10 EDT.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Dan Uggla, Jose Constanza, MLB, New York Mets, Tim Hudson

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