Hudson started and ended on rough notes, giving up four runs in the first on a two-run single by Ian Desmond and a two-run triple by Rick Ankiel. He then settled down tremendously with a four-pitch second inning and sat down 16 of the next 18 batters.
The seventh is when things fell apart for Hudson, who walked reliever Chien-Ming Wang with two outs. Even though he was showing some fatigue, Hudson was left in to give up a double to Tom Lombardozzi and a walk to Bryce Harper to load the bases before Ryan Zimmerman cleared them with a double on Hudson's 108th pitch.
Washington's big seventh inning squelched the momentum the Braves had accrued by knocking out Ross Detwiler after 100 pitches and 4 2/3 innings. His night ended with a walk to Dan Uggla, which was followed by Matt Diaz doubling off Wang to the Nats' lead to 4-3. Diaz was gunned down for the second out of the fifth trying to stretch his hit into a triple on the play. Jason Heyward would ground out to end that inning.
Heyward provided more reason for Atlanta's frustration in the eighth when he hit a solo homer off Wang in the eighth to put the score at its 7-4 final.
Martin Prado also kept up his torrid pace with two doubles, a triple and two runs scored. He has hit an even .400 over his last 22 games.
Brian McCann did not start due to illness, but had to replace David Ross when Ross pulled his groin on a check swing. McCann would go 1-for-3.
Also on the injury front, Chipper Jones missed his seventh straight start since getting drilled by a one-hopper of the bat of B.J. Upton on May 18. The Braves are now 7-16 without him in the lineup.
The reeling Braves offense is tasked with trying to score off Stephen Strasburg (4-1), while Mike Minor (2-4) will look to get his season and the Braves back on track Saturday at 4:05.
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