for this game

Escobar's power, Hudson's pitching too much for Nationals

Apr 12, 2008 - 3:35 AM By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Washington Nationals got off to a good start this season in part due to the Atlanta Braves. On Friday, Atlanta was responsible for Washington's continued misery.

Yunel Escobar homered and Tim Hudson pitched eight scoreless innings, leading the Braves to a 3-0 win over the Nationals.

It was the eighth straight defeat for the Nationals - their longest losing streak since May 1-9, 2007.

The setback also marked the first time the National League East rivals met since they christened Nationals Park on March 30 - a 3-2 win for the Nationals that sparked the team's season-opening three-game winning streak.

Hudson (2-0) continued his mastery of the Nationals, allowing just three singles and two walks with five strikeouts. The righthander, who improved to 6-1 in his career against Washington, did not allow a runner to reach third base.

"It was all I could do to get through the eighth tonight," said Hudson, who admitted to dealing with a head cold. "I felt like I was Houdini tonight."

"He can't pitch any better," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said.

Hudson has a few admirers in the Nationals clubhouse - especially outfielder Willie Harris, a teammate of his last season.

"Hudson pitched a great game tonight," Harris said. "I wouldn't say we beat ourselves. I'd say Hudson beat us tonight."

In a strange twist, Hudson was making his second start of the season in just the fifth game at Nationals Park. Hudson received a no-decision in the Nationals' home opener despite yielding just three hits over seven frames in that contest.

However, Hudson found himself in the middle of a pitchers' duel with Washington's Matt Chico (0-2), who had retired nine straight Braves hitters until the sixth inning, when Escobar hit a first-pitch fastball over the fence in right-center field for his second homer of the season.

"I'm the one who gave up the home run that put us behind," Chico said. "That's the biggest thing for me. I gave up that run and we lost. It's my fault."

Peter Moylan, who allowed the game-winning home run to Ryan Zimmerman on Opening Night, pitched a perfect ninth for his first save. To complete the irony, he struck out Zimmerman for the final out.

Chico took the hard-luck loss, permitting just five hits over eight innings in the longest start of his career.

The Braves added two runs in the ninth on a bases-loaded, two-out, two-run single by Matt Diaz off Jon Rauch.

"(Chico) was nasty tonight," Diaz said. "We feel Tim Hudson right now is the best pitcher in baseball and he matched him pitch for pitch."

Austin Kearns finished with two hits for Washington.








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

    BATTERIES: ATL - TIM HUDSON, PETER MOYLAN (9TH) AND BRIAN MCCANN
    WAS - MATT CHICO, JON RAUCH (9TH) AND JESUS FLORES,
    PAUL LO DUCA (9TH)

    HOME RUNS: ATL - YUNEL ESCOBAR (2) OF

    Apr 11 9:51 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Braves 3, Nationals 0  Bot 9, 0 OutsApr 11 9:45 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MATT DIAZ SCORED YUNEL ESCOBAR AND CHIPPER JONES.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M DIAZ ON FIRST, M TEIXEIRA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    WASHINGTON 0 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M KOTSAY (.278, 1-FOR-3)

    Braves 3, Nationals 0  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 11 9:43 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Braves 1, Nationals 0  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 11 9:28 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY YUNEL ESCOBAR (2) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 6TH OFF MATT CHICO.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 1, WASHINGTON 0
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.366, 0-FOR-2)

    Braves 1, Nationals 0  Top 6, 0 OutsApr 11 8:52 PM