Padres
Braves
2 - 5 Final
  for this game

Hudson, Norton lift Braves to fifth straight win

May 8, 2008 - 3:38 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Greg Norton did exactly what the Atlanta Braves picked him up to do.

Norton drove in the game-winning run with a pinch-hit single and Tim Hudson allowed two runs in seven innings to lead the Braves to a 5-2 win over the woeful San Diego Padres on Wednesday.

Chipper Jones had two hits to raise his major league-leading batting average to .429 for Atlanta (17-15), which has won five straight to move two games over .500 for the first time this season.

"We had a lot of big hits, but Norton's was the biggest one," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He's already paying dividends. He's got 10 pinch-hit home runs and he's especially a good pinch hitter. This has added a new dimension to the ball club."

Atlanta acquired the 35-year-old Norton on Monday after Martin Prado went on the disabled list, giving the club a proven pinch hitter on the bench.

When pressed into duty Wednesday night, Norton delivered by smashing a bases-loaded single up the middle off Joe Thatcher in the eighth, plating Brian McCann to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead.

"It was big," Norton said of the hit. "I know that's my role. To talk about coming off the bench and (then) contribute and do it is a big deal for me."

"That's the situation you look to come off the bench for," Jones said. "To get the game-winning hit, he's already paid off."

Kelly Johnson followed by hitting a sacrifice fly and Yunel Escobar plated Atlanta's fifth run with a single in the frame to cap the scoring.

Hudson (5-2) built upon his last outing, when the righthander hurled a complete game three-hit shutout, with another solid performance. The Atlanta ace allowed two runs and six hits, walked three and struck out three in seven solid frames to improve to 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA at Turner Field this season.

"It was a good win for us," Hudson said. "I felt pretty good out there."

Blaine Boyer hurled a perfect eighth before Will Ohman struck out pinch hitter Scott Hairston to start the ninth. Manny Acosta retired the next two batters.

Randy Wolf (2-2) cruised into the seventh inning for the Padres but was done in by poor run support from a club that entered Wednesday last in the National League with a .232 batting average.

The lefthander, who loaded the bases in the seventh before he was lifted for Thatcher, allowed five runs and eight hits, walked four and struck out one in six-plus innings. He fell to 4-6 with a 5.08 ERA at Turner Field.

"I felt like I battled all day," Wolf said. "I never felt like I was in control of the game. In the seventh inning, things definitely got away from me. Things kind of snowballed."

San Diego, last in the majors with 107 RBI, scored both their runs without the benefit of driving in a run, plating a run in the second on a balk and in the sixth on a double play.

The controversial balk got Cox, the all-time leader in ejections, tossed once again.

Kevin Kouzmanoff led second with a double and moved to third on a single by Paul McAnulty. Prior to the next pitch, Hudson made a fake throw to third before making a similar move toward first. Kouzmanoff scored when third base umpire Wally Bell flagged Hudson for a balk.

An aggravated Hudson argued the call, pointing at his footprint on the mound, bringing out Cox. The long-time Atlanta skipper waddled out to third to argue the play before walking back to the mound to point at the footprints.

Bell had enough of his theatrics and tossed Cox for the 137th time in his major league career.

The offensively-challenged Padres went on to load the bases in the frame against a rattled Hudson, who jawed with plate umpire Brian Knight over a ball call. But after a chat with Jones, Hudson settled down and induced Wolf to ground into an inning-ending double play.

"(Jones) told me to settle down and that he needed me to stay in there," Hudson said. "If I were an umpire, I would have tossed me. They gave me the benefit of the doubt. ... I definitely pushed it to the limit. I probably owe them an apology."

Kouzmanoff had two hits for struggling San Diego, which has lost 16 of its last 20 games.

"We're just not producing runs," Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. "It doesn't matter what pitcher is out there. Right now, we're not producing. I'd like to say we have time, but how much time do you have? You know?"








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

    BATTERIES: SDG - RANDY WOLF, JOE THATCHER (7TH), CLA MEREDITH (8TH) AND JOSH
    BARD
    ATL - TIM HUDSON, BLAINE BOYER (8TH), WILL OHMAN (9TH),
    MANNY ACOSTA (9TH) AND BRIAN MCCANN

    May 7 9:44 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YUNEL ESCOBAR SCORED MARK KOTSAY.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, Y ESCOBAR ON FIRST, G NORTON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2
    ATLANTA 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.432, 2-FOR-3)

    Padres 2, Braves 5  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 7 9:08 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY KELLY JOHNSON SCORED MATT DIAZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G NORTON ON FIRST, M KOTSAY ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2
    ATLANTA 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: Y ESCOBAR (.321, 1-FOR-3)

    Padres 2, Braves 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 7 9:06 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GREG NORTON SCORED BRIAN MCCANN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G NORTON ON FIRST, M KOTSAY ON SECOND, M
    DIAZ ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2
    ATLANTA 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: K JOHNSON (.269, 1-FOR-3)

    Padres 2, Braves 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 7 9:05 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    KEVIN KOUZMANOFF HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING TADAHITO
    IGUCHI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2
    ATLANTA 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: P MCANULTY (.238, 1-FOR-2)

    Padres 2, Braves 2  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 7 8:40 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK KOTSAY SCORED JEFF FRANCOEUR.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M KOTSAY ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1
    ATLANTA 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: T HUDSON (.100, 0 HR, 2 RBI)

    Padres 1, Braves 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsMay 7 7:47 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    MATT DIAZ HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING MARK TEIXEIRA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J FRANCOEUR ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M KOTSAY (.308, 3 HR, 14 RBI)

    Padres 1, Braves 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsMay 7 7:46 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    BALK BY TIM HUDSON ALLOWED KEVIN KOUZMANOFF TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, P MCANULTY ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1
    ATLANTA 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: J EDMONDS (.172, 0-FOR-0)

    Padres 1, Braves 0  Top 2, 0 OutsMay 7 7:25 PM