SAN DIEGO — Andrew Cashner took another step in his development.
Cashner (5-3) pitched a career high eight innings and outdueled Tim Hudson in the San Diego Padres' 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves, allowing two runs on six hits, striking out five and walking one on Tuesday night.
"It was a good game from Cash, he keeps growing," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Every start he makes is a learning experience for him. I can't be more happy with his progress."
It marked the seventh consecutive time that Cashner has pitched six-plus innings. At one point he retired 10 consecutive batters after giving up one run and three hits in the first inning.
"The biggest thing is learning on my changeup on when to throw it, when not to throw it," he said. "I think that is a pitch that has come back to get me when I could have used my four-seamer. I think every time I go out there, I'm learning. I thought my breaking ball was a lot better tonight. I thought that was the biggest key tonight, being able to throw three pitches."
"Going eight innings saved a few guys from warming up in the pen," Black said. "It was much needed, but more impressive was matching Hudson in a great game against a very good lineup."
Hudson (4-6) pitched 7 1-3 innings for the Braves, allowing three runs on five hits. He struck out seven and walked one. He is 0-5 in his last seven starts, the second longest winless streak in his career. It was also his first loss to the Padres after going 6-0 in 13 previous appearances and 12
The Padres have won five of seven, while the Braves have lost four of six.
Andrelton Simmons led off the game with a single to center, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Freddie Freeman's single to center.
Chase Headley tied the game in the bottom of the first with his sixth homer of the season, a two-out blast over the right-field wall off Hudson. It was his first extra-base hit and first homer since May 29, a span of 51 at-bats.
"It's been tough, it's not a stretch that I will fondly remember at the end of my career," Headley said. "But you just try to keep it in perspective and it definitely feels just really good when you get one. It was a hanging split. He's a type of pitcher not going to give you a lot to hit and I had to cycle through some pitches battles and fouled some off before I got one to hit."
"That was huge Chase hitting a home run in the first," Cashner said. "He's a great pitcher Hudson, You not going to get a lot of runs facing a guy with a great sinker. It's the best I've seen.
Nick Hundley put the Padres ahead, 2-1, in the second inning with a bloop double down the left field line that scored Kyle Blanks, who had walked.
Carlos Quentin produced the third Padres run in the third with an RBI single to left that scored Everth Cabrera, who had doubled to right leading off the inning.
The Bravesclosed within a run in the sixth when Jason Heyward and Justin Upton had back-to-back singles to open the inning. Freeman then hit into a double play and Heyward scored.
Joe Thatcher came on in the ninth for the Padres and struck out Freeman and Brian McCann to start the inning before Luke Gregerson came on and struck out Dan Uggla to pick up his third save in five opportunities.
"Cashner throws 95, 96 and has a changeup that he can throw whenever he wants," Freeman said. "We got him there on the ropes in the sixth, but I grounded into double play and killed a rally. You have to take advantage of that and I didn't do it."