Tim Hudson joined a special club on Tuesday by winning his 200th game – and hitting a home run in support of it – as the Atlanta Braves took the second game of their series with the Washington Nationals by an 8-1 final at Turner Field.
Hudson threw seven innings, giving up a lone run on three hits to become the 110th pitcher in Major League history to tally 200 wins. He joined Andy Pettitte and Roy Halladay as the only active pitchers to reach the milestone.
"He was about as good as I've seen him pitch," manager Fredi Gonzalez said on braves.com. "I don't think he labored the whole game. It was fun to watch. I know Chipper [Jones] had some milestones last year. But this, for me, might have been one of the most fun ones I could sit back and enjoy."
It turns out the third time was the charm for Hudson; he was rejected on his previous two attempts for his 200th win, including his last try at Coors Field when he was one out away before Craig Kimbrel blew a save and Justin Upton misplayed a ball in left field.
"I think things happen for a reason," B.J. Upton said. "He could have got it on the road, but it didn't happen. He comes home and gets to do it in front of the home crowd in a place where he's been for 10 years, and in front of his family. To have the kind of day he had at the plate, it's kind of icing on the cake."
Hudson made a strong case for abolishing the designated hitter with a two-hit game. He doubled off Gio Gonzalez to start the second inning in what turned into a two-run inning. He then hit a two-out solo homer to right field off Zach Duke with the ball bouncing off Bryce Harper's glove when he leaped to catch the ball.
Hudson joins Bob Lemon as the only pitchers in history to hit a home run in their 200th win.
"It was a fun game all the way around," Hudson said. "I felt like I threw the ball well. I felt like I was in command of the game throughout the seven innings. You know what? Sometimes if you swing hard, sometimes you hit it. That was the case tonight."
Hudson actually had a no-hitter through four innings before Tyler Moore hit a lead-off double in the fifth, setting him up to score on a groundout by Wilson Ramos. That was the only offense Washington was able to generate while the Braves won their fifth straight this season and ninth straight since last year.
The Braves offense, meanwhile, did their usual job shelling Gio Gonzalez to the tune of five runs on seven hits in four innings.
Andrelton Simmons got things started with a homer to lead-off the first, his first career lead-off homer and his first of the year. The Braves would go on to score in four of the first five innings and go 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Gonzalez has given up 12 runs in nine innings he's pitched against the Braves this season.
Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Baseball, Gio Gonzalez, MLB, Tim Hudson, Washington Nationals