Miscues cost Braves in loss to Nationals

WASHINGTON 7, ATLANTA 6

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ATLANTA --- Tim Hudson got little help from his teammates.

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Jayson Werth is congratulated by Jerry Hairston Jr. His three-run homer in the fifth gave Washington a 7-1 lead over Atlanta.   Associated Press
Associated Press
Jayson Werth is congratulated by Jerry Hairston Jr. His three-run homer in the fifth gave Washington a 7-1 lead over Atlanta.

Two errors were charged. Two more could've been.

But Hudson was kicking himself for making a big mistake that didn't show up in the error column.

Coming off a one-hitter, Hudson gave up three-run homers to Laynce Nix and Jayson Werth as the Washington Nationals built a big lead and held on for a 7-6 win over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.

"Huddy pitched well," said Nate McLouth, who made perhaps the most crucial error when he dropped a flyball in the fourth inning. "He didn't deserve that. That ball I dropped, there's no excuses."

Hudson said his stuff felt as good as it did in his previous start against Milwaukee, when he faced only two hitters over the minimum for an 8-0 shutout.

But the results were much different this time. He lasted only five innings, his shortest stint of the season.

"Obviously, that was an aberration of how we normally play," Hudson said. "I'd be an idiot to complain about a few errors here and there."

Besides, Hudson felt he made the biggest mistake of all. With two outs in the fifth and the Braves trailing 4-1, the right-hander shook off catcher Brian McCann's signal for a fastball to Werth. Instead, he threw a changeup over the inside corner. Werth knocked it over the left-field wall for his three-run shot.

"The pitch to Werth was brutal," Hudson said.

"Not only did we make some errors on defense, I made one, too."

Jason Marquis (4-1) beat the team he broke in with for a milestone win.

The 32-year-old gave up seven hits and three runs in 7Q innings to improve his career mark to 100-93. The first 14 wins came with the Braves from 2000-03.

"It was exciting, obviously, that I got 100 here," he said. "It's definitely a special part of my career.

"Who would have ever thought when I first broke in that I'd get to this point? But I guess a lot of hard work and good fortune with health has allowed me to do that."

Trailing 7-1, the Braves scored five times in the eighth off Marquis and two relievers, capped by Dan Uggla's three-run homer off Tyler Clippard.

Pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad hit one to the wall in the ninth that was hauled in just a few feet short of a tying homer, good enough for Drew Storen to earn his eighth save in eight chances.

"The way we came back makes me feel good about this ballclub," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

But there was some potentially bad news for the Braves: Right fielder Jason Heyward left the game in the eighth because of lingering pain in his right shoulder. He'll undergo an MRI on Thursday.

"It's been bothering me pretty good since spring training," Heyward said.

"That last at-bat, my hand got numb and it wouldn't go away. Fredi told me to come in and get it checked out."

Hudson had allowed only one homer all season before the Nationals took him deep twice.

Nix took advantage of McLouth's error with a homer that pushed the Nationals to a 4-0 lead.

Werth, off to a slow start after signing a $126 million contract over the winter, appeared to put it out of reach with his fifth homer of the year, but the Braves made it close.

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