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Atlanta Braves Win Eighth Straight, Take Series from Washington Nationals

April 13th, 2013 at 8:20 PM
By Cody Fields

The Atlanta Braves put together their eighth consecutive win on the backs of Tim Hudson and Evan Gattis, taking the series and setting up a potential sweep of the Washington Nationals in a 3-1 game.

Gattis hit a two-run home in the third inning after a costly throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman, illustrating just how small the margin of error is in the NL East.

"Close games like today, well-pitched games for both sides, I think there are the little things you need to do to win the game," Hudson said on braves.com. "They made one mistake defensively that cost them the game. We were pretty solid all day."

Zimmerman threw wide of first base on Justin Upton's two-out groundball in the third, allowing Upton to move to second and Gattis to come to the plate. Gattis used his compact swing to turn on a high-and-tight 96-mph fastball from Stephen Strasburg, depositing it in the seats beyond the bullpen in left-center.

The bomb gave Gattis four homers through his first 30 Major League at-bats.

"Really more than anything, I was just trying to put the ball in play," Gattis said. "I just felt like I didn't need to be that long [with my swing]. I was just trying to barrel the ball with a runner on second. We had a good runner on second with Justin. I was just trying to put the ball in play and score a run. "

The two unearned runs Strasburg gave up were the only runs he gave up at all in his six innings of work.

Hudson took advantage of Washington's offensive mistakes as well, starting in the first inning. After Denard Span singled, Hudson threw a pickoff attempt away to move him to second. But with Jayson Werth batting, Span ran for third on a line drive that was caught by B.J. Upton that brough an unconventional 8-4 double play.

Hudson gave up only three more hits in his seven innings, incurring damage only on a Danny Espinosa homer in the fifth inning for the only run he surrendered.

In a more fun aspect of the game, Hudson recorded two of the Braves' eight hits, giving him a .429 average for the year.

"I'm not supposed to hit," Hudson said. "So it's always exciting to throw a couple of knocks out there, especially a guy throwing that hard. I turned it around. What can I say?"

The Braves will go for the series sweep Sunday afternoon as Paul Maholm matches up with Gio Gonzalez.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Evan Gattis, MLB, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Tim Hudson, Washington Nationals

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