for this game

Hudson helps Braves end Pirates' streak

May 13, 2008 - 12:17 AM PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Tim Hudson did everything he could to prevent the Atlanta Braves from being swept.

Hudson tossed seven masterful innings while Mark Kotsay and Brian McCann each drove in three runs as the Braves snapped the Pittsburgh Pirates' six-game winning streak with an 8-1 triumph in the second game of their doubleheader on Monday.

Kotsay snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-run double in the fourth inning, and McCann highlighted a four-run fifth with a three-run homer - his seventh blast of the season - for Atlanta, which salvaged the finale of its four-game series with Pittsburgh.

The Pirates won the first game of Monday's doubleheader, 5-0.

"It was a big day for us," Hudson said. "We would have loved to get that first one, but we weren't able to get much across the board there. The second game was big. Guys came out with some good at-bats, and we were able to go out there and keep them from scoring."

The support was more than enough for Hudson (6-2), who limited the Pirates to an unearned run and two hits. The righthander walked two and struck out five in posting his third straight victory.

"I felt pretty good," Hudson said. "One of the things was, we were able to get a nice lead there, and I was able to go out there and relax, just try to change speeds and change things up. ... When you have a nice lead like that, you can go out there and be a little more creative and try to do some things that you wouldn't normally do."

Hudson, who pitched a three-hit shutout against Cincinnati on May 2, has allowed three hits or less in four of his nine starts this season. His outing on Monday followed one in which Jair Jurrjens yielded just three hits in five innings but received no offensive support.

"You can't pitch any better than either one of them did today," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "Both of them were outstanding."

Kotsay and Jeff Francoeur had three hits apiece for the Braves.

Pittsburgh got to Hudson for its only run of the game in the first inning. Doug Mientkiewicz hit a one-out double and scored when Braves first baseman Greg Norton allowed a grounder by Nate McLouth to get past him and into the outfield.

The Braves tied the game in the third, when Yunel Escobar's two-out single of Pirates starter John Van Benschoten drove in Gregor Blanco.

Atlanta broke open the game in the fifth. Kelly Johnson led off with a base hit and Escobar walked before Chipper Jones singled off Pittsburgh second baseman Freddy Sanchez's glove to plate a run.

McCann followed with a shot to right field for a 7-1 cushion.

"We felt like after once through the lineup, we were able to see (Van Benschoten) a little bit better," Francoeur said. "He has a great fastball, and he came at us early with that fastball. But we were finally able to time it up a little bit."

Van Benschoten (0-1) walked the next batter before exiting. The righthander yielded seven runs - six earned - and nine hits with two walks and five strikeouts in four-plus frames.

Making his first start of the season after three relief appearances, Van Benschoten fell to 1-12 lifetime and saw his career ERA climb to 8.84 in 75 1/3 innings. He was optioned to Class AAA Indianapolis following the game.

"I felt good those first three innings," Van Benschoten said. "Everything was good. The pitches were down and everything was rolling around pretty well. But in the last couple innings, the ball was up a little bit and it fell off at the end."

Atlanta capped the scoring in the seventh on an RBI double by Kotsay.

The Pirates' winning streak was their longest since 2004, when they won 10 in a row from June 26-July 5. All six victories during this run came at home.

"It was a great homestand," Pittsburgh's Adam LaRoche said. "We kind of were feeling it coming (because) some guys were starting to heat up and the pitching's getting real consistent. We're finally putting it all together.

"We've got to take advantage of stretches like now and get as many wins as we can."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ATLANTA 0 0 1 2 4 0 1 0 0 8 14 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ATL - TIM HUDSON, BLAINE BOYER (8TH), WILL OHMAN (9TH) AND BRIAN
    MCCANN
    PIT - JOHN VAN BENSCHOTEN, FRANQUELIS OSORIA (5TH),
    TYLER YATES (9TH) AND RONNY PAULINO

    H

    May 12 6:21 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    DOUBLE BY MARK KOTSAY SCORED JEFF FRANCOEUR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M KOTSAY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 8
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: G BLANCO (.333, 1-FOR-3)

    Braves 8, Pirates 1  Top 7, 0 OutsMay 12 5:32 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY BRIAN MCCANN (7) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 5TH OFF JOHN VAN BENSCHOTEN SCORED YUNEL ESCOBAR AND CHIPPER
    JONES.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 7, PITTSBURGH 1
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: G NORTON (.375, 1-FOR-2)

    Braves 7, Pirates 1  Top 5, 0 OutsMay 12 5:00 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY CHIPPER JONES SCORED KELLY JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C JONES ON FIRST, Y ESCOBAR ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.304, 0-FOR-2)

    Braves 4, Pirates 1  Top 5, 0 OutsMay 12 5:00 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    DOUBLE BY MARK KOTSAY SCORED GREG NORTON AND JEFF
    FRANCOEUR.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M KOTSAY ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: G BLANCO (.345, 1-FOR-1)

    Braves 3, Pirates 1  Top 4, 0 OutsMay 12 4:34 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY YUNEL ESCOBAR SCORED GREGOR BLANCO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, Y ESCOBAR ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.407, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves 1, Pirates 1  Top 3, 0 OutsMay 12 4:16 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    ERROR BY GREG NORTON ALLOWED DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N MCLOUTH ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 0
    PITTSBURGH 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAY (.277, 7 HR, 14 RBI)

    Braves 0, Pirates 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 12 3:54 PM