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Braves top struggling Astros

Aug 4, 2012 - 3:35 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Tim Hudson pitched into the eighth inning, Chipper Jones hit a two-run double, and the Braves defeated the Astros, 4-1, on Friday in the opener of a three-game series.

Hudson (11-4) continued his mastery of Houston, improving to 5-0 lifetime against the club. The righty allowed one unearned run on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. He is 7-1 over his last nine starts.

Martin Prado and Dan Uggla both had an RBI double for the Braves, who have won nine of their last 10 games and are 15-6 since the All-Star break.

"(Hudson) is one of those guys, every time he goes out there he just performs for the team," said Prado. "We're just trying to get some runs to support him."

Armando Galarraga (0-1) took the loss in his second start of the season, giving up four runs on five hits with seven walks and four strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.

"Galarraga really got his pitch count up by being behind in the count...but for the most part he seemed to pitch around the walks," said Houston manager Brad Mills.

J.D. Martinez drove in the lone run for the Astros, who fell to a major league-worst 35-72. They are just 3-29 over their last 32 games.

Jones has hit safely in 27 of his last 30 games, spanning back to June 19. He had a pair of RBI in Thursday's win over the Marlins and equaled the feat on Friday, plating Prado and Jason Heyward with a third-inning double to right.

Uggla, whose error in the sixth led the Houston's only run, followed later in the third with a two-out double, plating Jones for a 3-0 lead.

Prado finished 2-for-3 with two walks and drove home Michael Bourn in the fourth inning with his second double of the game -- a shot into the left-field corner.

In the sixth, Ben Francisco singled and moved to second base on Uggla's throwing error. He went to third on a Brett Wallace groundout and scored when Martinez grounded out to Jones at third.

Eric O'Flaherty recorded the final two outs of the eighth and Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for his 31st save of the season.

The Braves are now a major league-best 61-1 when taking a lead into the seventh inning or later.

Game Notes

This was Hudson's seventh career start against the Astros...The Atlanta bullpen has allowed just 18 earned run over the past 89 inning (27 games)...Galarraga did not record a decision in his season debut on July 28...Earlier Friday the Astros placed recently acquired reliever Francisco Cordero on the 15-day disabled list with right foot sesamoiditis. The 37-year-old righty has gone 0-3 with three blown saves and a 19.80 earned run average in six appearances since joining the Astros as part of a 10-player trade with the Blue Jays on July 20.

  • HOUSTON: 1
    ATLANTA: 4

    Aug 3 10:40 PM

  • J.D. Martinez ground out third to first scored Ben Francisco. None on with two out and Scott Moore due up.

    Astros 1, Braves 4  Top 6, 2 OutsAug 3 9:26 PM

  • Jason Heyward struck out swinging. Runner on second with two out and Chipper Jones due up.

    Astros 0, Braves 4  Bot 4, 2 OutsAug 3 9:05 PM

  • Dan Uggla double to short scored Chipper Jones. On the play, Brian McCann advances to third. Runners on second and third with two out and Paul Janish due up.

    Astros 0, Braves 3  Bot 3, 2 OutsAug 3 8:48 PM

  • Chipper Jones double to right scored Martin Prado and Jason Heyward. Runner on second with one out and Freddie Freeman due up.

    Astros 0, Braves 2  Bot 3, 1 OutAug 3 8:41 PM

  • HOUSTON: 0
    ATLANTA: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Aug 3 7:36 PM
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    Astros vs. BravesDec 20 6:02 AM