The night after Mike MInor got on base twice and scored two runs while throwing a gem, Tim Hudson got two hits himself as he threw seven solid innings in the Atlanta Braves' 7-1 win over the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on Sunday night.
The Braves had lost four of their first five games of their 10-game road trip entering Saturday, but the offensive suddenly woke up, and Atlanta got the treat of hitting against Tim Lincecum in what has been a career worst year.
"It was important to at least come out of here with a split," Hudson said. "Anytime you lose the first two games of a four-game series, it's really tough to come out with a split. But we were fortunate to come out and get some runs early."
Hudson benefited from two first inning runs courtesy of two walks by Lincecum, an RBI-groundout by Martin Prado and an RBI-single by Brian McCann. He was able to stay aggressive with a Giants lineup that not only lost their best hitter in Melky Cabrera for the season due to suspension, but also has the likes of Hunter Pence in an enormous slump. Hudson also utilized the shadows that crept onto the infield with the 5 p.m. local time start.
"It was a day where you definitely had to come out and pound the strike zone," Hudson said. "It wasn't exactly easy to see from a hitter's point of view. It was my job to pound the strike zone and try to make them hurt me that way and not give them free passes."
Hudson also got two knocks off Lincecum, though the farthest one of the night belonged to Juan Francisco, who blasted a monster home run to center.
Lincecum threw 90 pitches while giving up three runs over five innings, though 32 of those pitches came in the first inning and set the tone for a Braves offense that included a three-hit night by McCann.
Paul Janish added a two-run triple in the sixth inning, but Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman stole the show in the ninth with back-to-back homers. The home run was Heyward's sixth at AT&T Park, the most he's hit at a park outside Turner Field.
Hudson held the Giants to three hits through his first six innings and escape the seventh while just giving up one run. Gregor Blanco walked to load the bases with one out, but the only run the Giants could scrape together was from a sacrifice fly by Brandon Crawford.
The Washington Nationals lost their fourth straight Sunday afternoon, allowing the Braves to pull to 4.5 games out in the NL East race and giving them some much needed confidence headed into a three-game series with the San Diego Padres.
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