The bulldog known as Tim Hudson ruined the return of Ryan Howard by throwing seven shutout innings, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 5-0 over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday. Hudson's effort was backed by a grand slam by Brian McCann.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez and head trainer Jeff Porter had to make two trips to the mound to check on Hudson, who is still being bothered by bone spurs in his left ankle, but Hudson convinced them he could remain in the game.
"There was no way I was going to get the ball out of his hand," Gonzalez said. "I would have had to have three or four people with me and we would have had to chase him around even with the bad ankle."
Hudson's grit would be rewarded with a W, thanks to Antonio Bastardo issuing three walks to Braves hitters in the top of the eighth. After Chipper Jones drew a walk to load the bases, the usually free-swinging Freddie Freeman also drew a walk to bring home the first run of the game. That paved the way for McCann to hit his ninth career grand slam – and second of the season – over the center field wall.
McCann has hit two grand slams this year against the Phillies and is a .357 career hitter with the bases loaded.
"I love hitting with the bases loaded, because they have to come at you and can't walk you," McCann said. "It's definitely a good feeling to know you can stand in the box and they have to come see you."
The slam secured the win for Hudson, who only allowed four hits and a walk over seven scoreless innings, even when it seemed his balky ankle may force him to leave the game early.
Hudson gave up a double to Howard to start the second inning before getting Carlos Ruiz to flyout. During the Ruiz at-bat, Hudson landed awkwardly on his ankle, prompting a visit from Gonzalez and Porter.
"I just hit it at a weird angle and hyper-extended it a little bit," Hudson said. "It bit me pretty good. It hurts, but there's no damage done. I don't even know how to explain it. It just hurts and you just have to give it a minute to allow it to go away. It was OK after that."
Hudson sat down his next six batters, not giving up a hit until singles by Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino in the sixth.
The effort should take nothing away from the effort of Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick. Through his first six innings, Kendrick had only allowed two singles by Jason Heyward, and got out of a jam in the seventh created by singles from Jones and Freeman to start the frame. He got out of that with a called strike to McCann, a Dan Uggla pop out and a groundout from Andrelton Simmons.
McCann would atone in the next inning when he launched his grand slam. He has homered in two of his three at-bats with the bases loaded this season.
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