Hudson only need the lone run provided by Alex Gonzalez's solo home run in the third inning off Arizona starter Josh Collmenter. That was the only damage Collmenter gave up in seven innings on the hill.
"Changeup down, he was out in front, but able to hook it," Collmenter said. "One of those things where he's just hanging out over the plate and gets it. Unfortunately it cost us the game, but sometimes that's how it happens."
Hudson allowed three hits and three walks in his seven innings. And though he struck out seven batters, it was defense that preserved the lead in the sixth.
Former Brave Kelly Johnson tripled to lead off the frame, and Hudson got Willie Bloomquist to ground out to Gonzalez on a pulled in infield. Chris Young then hit a high popup into foul territory, which required Freddie Freeman to make a spectacular over the shoulder catch. Johnson tagged and tried to score on the play, but Freeman wheeled around and fired to Brian McCann, who dove and tagged out Johnson.
Craig Kimbrel came in for the ninth to secure his 39th save, one shy of Neftali Feliz's rookie record of 40 a year ago. He struck out Bloomquist, but then made things interesting when Young walked and Miguel Montero singled to put the tying run on third. Kimbrel then dispatched Paul Goldschmidt and Sean Burroughs on swinging strikeouts, even touching 100 miles per hour.
The Philadelphia Phillies' extra inning loss to the Washington Nationals allowed the Braves to climb to 6.5 games out of first place, while the slumping San Francisco Giants remain eight games back in the Wild Card race.
The Braves travel to Chicago for a four-game set with the Cubs beginning Monday at 8:05 EDT. Jair Jurrjens (12-5, 2.84 ERA) will look to regain his early season form against Ryan Dempster (10-8, 4.61 ERA).
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