Padres
Braves
3 - 5 Final
  for this game

Hudson, bullpen vault Braves back into first place

May 10, 2007 - 10:08 PM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Tim Hudson and Kelly Johnson helped the Atlanta Braves find themselves in familiar territory - sole possession of first place.

Hudson hurled six solid innings and Johnson drove in three runs with a bases-clearing double in the sixth to power the Braves to a 5-3 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Atlanta saw its streak of 14 consecutive division titles come to an end with a disappointing 2006 campaign that was marred by inconsistent starting pitching and a porous bullpen that blew a league-leading 29 save opportunities.

But Braves general manager John Schuerholz made pitching a priority this offseason, obtaining relievers Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano to shore up the bullpen.

With the re-emergence of Hudson (4-1), who was a disappointing 13-12 with a 4.86 ERA last year, the Braves have regained their familiar swagger and their perch atop the National League East.

"I think we have a lot of confidence," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "It's been a good start, a really good start and a fun team (to manage)."

Once again, Hudson had an effective performance. Battling back spasms, the 31-year-old ace allowed two runs and nine hits without a walk in six innings, striking out four for his second career win against San Diego. The righthander's ERA actually rose to 1.83.

"It was a battle out there," Hudson said. "I wasn't as sharp as I have been the last four starts. I had to make pitches and I had to keep them off-balance."

In the sixth, Hudson was hit just above his left wrist by a line drive off the bat of Josh Bard, but finished the frame. Precautionary X-rays on the wrist were negative, and the righthander is expect to make his next start.

Atlanta (22-12) completed a 7-3 homestand and is off to its best start since 2003, when the club opened with a 23-11 mark.

"(The homestand) was really good," Chipper Jones said. "Excellent starting pitching, unbelievable job by the bullpen and we played good defense. We didn't swing the bats really well, but we did it when we needed to."

Johnson came up huge in another two-out rally in the sixth for Atlanta, which has scored 88 of its 168 runs with two away this season.

With one out, Brian McCann singled and Chris Woodward followed with a double off starter David Wells (1-2). The portly lefthander struck out Craig Wilson before issuing a free pass to pinch hitter Willie Harris to load the bases.

That set the stage for the 25-year-old Johnson, who smashed an 0-1 offering into the right field corner for a double to give Atlanta a 5-2 edge.

"I knew (Wells) had a big curveball." Johnson said. "My focus was to stay in there if I got a pitch and I did. It was good timing. (It was a) curveball. A little more up, a pretty good pitch for me to hit."

Johnson was scheduled for a day off until shortstop Edgar Renteria had to be scratched for the third time in four days with flu-like symptoms.

Once again, the bullpen closed the door. Chad Paronto surrendered a run on two hits in the seventh and Tyler Yates struck out one in a perfect eighth before Soriano notched his fifth save with a hitless ninth.

The Atlanta bullpen improved to 10-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 106 2/3 innings this season. It has also converted 14 saves in 17 chances.

"The past couple of years, we just didn't have the ability to get outs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings," Chipper Jones said. "Now we have the ability to do that."

Wells had been 3-0 with an 0.82 ERA in three starts at Turner Field but surrendered five runs, seven hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings, striking out three.

"I've always pitched well in Atlanta," Wells said. "I like pitching here. I've pitched well here, except for today. I settled down and kept us in the ballgame. But it turned into a really bad start."

Atlanta took a 2-0 lead with four straight one-out hits in the first. Matt Diaz and Chipper Jones hit successive singles, Andruw Jones plated Diaz with a single and Chipper Jones scored on a double by Jeff Francoeur.

The Padres tied it in the fourth on a run-scoring doubles by Mike Cameron and rookie Kevin Kouzmanoff.

Jose Cruz Jr. drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh for the Padres, who went 3-4 on their road trip.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SAN DIEGO 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 3 11 0
    ATLANTA 2 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 x 5 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SDG - DAVID WELLS, DOUG BROCAIL (6TH), JUSTIN HAMPSON (7TH) AND JOSH
    BARD
    ATL - TIM HUDSON, CHAD PARONTO (7TH), TYLER YATES
    (8TH), RAFAEL SORIANO (9TH) AND BRIAN M

    May 10 3:45 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JOSE CRUZ JR SCORED GEOFF BLUM.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M GILES ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 3
    ATLANTA 5 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: B GILES (.304, 2-FOR-3)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 10 3:04 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY KELLY JOHNSON SCORED BRIAN MCCANN, CHRIS WOODWARD
    AND WILLIE HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, K JOHNSON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2
    ATLANTA 5 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M DIAZ (.308, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 10 2:53 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY KEVIN KOUZMANOFF SCORED MIKE CAMERON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K KOUZMANOFF ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2
    ATLANTA 2 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: D WELLS (.167, 1-FOR-1)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 10 2:05 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIKE CAMERON SCORED KHALIL GREENE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CAMERON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1
    ATLANTA 2 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: K KOUZMANOFF (.107, 0-FOR-1)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 10 2:03 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JEFF FRANCOEUR SCORED CHIPPER JONES.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J FRANCOEUR ON SECOND, A JONES ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 0
    ATLANTA 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.289, 2 HR, 16 RBI)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 10 1:22 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ANDRUW JONES SCORED MATT DIAZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A JONES ON FIRST, C JONES ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 0
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.281, 5 HR, 27 RBI)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 10 1:19 PM
  • jacook11 GO BRAVES

    Padres vs. BravesMay 10 12:35 PM
  • 5
    roots
    jacook11 Added 5 roots

    Padres vs. BravesMay 10 12:35 PM