Hudson does it all as Braves win

Atlanta starting pitcher Tim Hudson celebrates with his teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the seventh inning. He also pitched eight scoreless innings to lift the Braves to a win Monday.

ATLANTA --- Tim Hudson isn't about to make a case for ending baseball's designated hitter rule.


"No, no," he said. "We (stink), honestly. I was hitting .040 coming into this game."

Hudson pitched eight scoreless innings and hit his second career home run in the Atlanta Braves' 2-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.

Hudson (6-6) allowed two hits, one walk and struck out a season-high eight, including the 1,600th of his career. He took Ricky Romero (6-7) deep to make it 2-0 with two outs in the seventh.

"It's hard to say there's anything better," Hudson said. "Obviously, you (nearly) throw a shutout and hit a homer, you win the game. It was fun, man, It was a lot of fun."

Toronto has lost back-to-back games and five of seven.

Hudson retired 20 consecutive batters before Mike McCoy walked to lead off the ninth and advanced to second on Yunel Escobar's infield single.

Closer Craig Kimbrel struck out Corey Patterson, Jose Bautista and Adam Lind to earn his 20th save in 25 chances.

"Kimbrel's just got overpowering stuff," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He shut us down right there."

Bautista, who began the game leading the major leagues with a .483 on-base percentage, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts to snap a streak of reaching base in 24 straight games.

Toronto hadn't been shut out since losing 9-0 at home to Detroit on May 7. But the Blue Jays were nearly punchless against Hudson, who had gone 1-4 with a 5.80 ERA in his past seven starts -- a streak that began with a one-hit home shutout of Milwaukee on May 4.

Romero escaped trouble with runners in scoring position during the first, second, fourth and sixth innings but made a mistake with a fastball to Hudson, whose homer landed in the seats in left field.

Hudson became the first pitcher to homer against Toronto since Felipe Lira hit one out against David Wells on July 8, 2000, at Montreal.

Romero, who allowed six hits, two runs, two walks and struck out four in seven innings, has lost three of four starts despite a 3.23 ERA.

The Braves paused the game for a few seconds to acknowledge Hudson's 1,600th career strikeout when J.P. Arencibia whiffed in the fifth. The 13-year veteran got his first career curtain call in the seventh.

"Romero was really good," Hudson said after raising his batting average 31 points to .071. "He had a good heater. I knew he was going to throw me a fastball. He threw it middle in. I just threw the head at it. Squared it up."

Hudson hit his first career homer Sept. 12, 2009 at St. Louis.

Hudson, who improved to 3-3 with a 2.60 ERA at Turner Field, made 89 pitches through his first eight innings.

Today's game


Zach Stewart (0-0, 2.57) vs. Mike Minor (0-2, 5.47)

7:10 p.m. - FSS/PTV - Turner Stadium