Tim Hudson again ran into first inning troubles when the Washington Nationals tagged him for four runs in the first inning. It didn't get a whole lot prettier for the Atlanta Braves righty as the Nats took the series in an 8-4 ballgame Sunday at Turner Field.
The loss for Hudson was his second to Washington in five weeks, even though he entered the season with a 14-3 career record against them in 23 starts. He gave up six runs, five earned, over six innings in the loss, but it was the first inning that yet again came up to bite him.
The trouble for Hudson started immediately when the first three batters of the game recorded hits, highlighted by a two-run double by Ryan Zimmerman. After getting Michael Morse to ground out, Hudson gave up another run on an Adam LaRoche sacrifice fly. Hudson would then walk Ian Desmond before giving up a single to Rick Ankiel. Ankiel's single got by Michael Bourn in center field, resulting in the fourth run of the inning.
Though Hudson was able to hold the Nationals scoreless for the next three innings, they managed runs in the fifth and sixth, one of those runs coming off Zimmerman's sixth homer of the year.
Atlanta, meanwhile, was busy wasting opportunities presented by mistakes on the behalf of Gio Gonzalez. Andrelton Simmons worked a two-out walk that consumed an impressive 14 pitches. Freddie Freeman followed with a single and Tim Hudson drew a walk to load the bases.
The Braves would have to wait until a Chipper Jones RBI-double in the third to get on the board. Chipper also drew a walk along with Dan Uggla to lead off the sixth, and though Davey Johnson left Gonzalez in the game, Freddie Freeman teed off on a 2-2 count for a three-run homer, chasing Gonzalez from the game.
Gonzalez last only five-plus innings in the 101-degree heat, but his outing was still good enough for his 11th win of the season.
Jonny Venters also saw his struggles continue in the eighth inning. He struck out Danny Espinosa to start the inning, but after hitting Steve Lombardozi and walking Bryce Harper, leading to another RBI on a single by Zimmerman. Christhian Martinez would enter for Venters, but allowed one of the inherited runners to score on a Tyler Moore ground out.
The Braves have now lost two series to the Nationals at Turner Field and are 2-6 against them.
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