ATLANTA - One of the best games of Tim Hudson's season will be marred by a big black 'L' alongside it.
One pitch to San Francisco's Randy Winn - not all that bad of one, the Braves' starter said - was the difference in the Giants' 5-3 victory Thursday at Turner Field.
It denied the Braves a chance for the series sweep and the opportunity to keep the longest homestand of the year clean.
Hudson (8-7) had allowed a run on four hits - all singles - through six innings, but he suddenly became hittable in the seventh.
Edgardo Alfonzo and J.T. Snow led off with singles. A groundout scored Alfonzo to make it 3-2.
Winn, San Francisco's leadoff hitter, nailed Hudson's 100th pitch of the night into the right field seats to give the Giants the lead.
"This is kind of a tough game to swallow," said Hudson, who got his 100th career win in his previous start.
"I thought we should have won the ballgame. I threw one pitch that cost us the game."
Winn, whom the Giants acquired from Seattle at the trade deadline, had struck out in his previous two at-bats against Hudson.
Then again, that was a fate that a slew of Giants met.
Hudson struck out 10 batters for his first double-digit strikeout game since June 22, 2001, something that's surprising considering Hudson's downward-dipping stuff.
"I think I threw the ball well," Hudson said. "You can't dwell on it, because I know I threw the ball a lot better than the line shows and the 'L' in the column."
"I thought it was one of his best ballgames, actually," manager Bobby Cox said of Thursday's start.
"He was as good as it's gotten all year long."
It was the second consecutive night that Atlanta saw a late-inning lead disappear after its starter had been dominating early on.
John Smoltz allowed just two hits and no runs through seven Wednesday before losing leads of 3-0 and 4-1.
Reach Travis Haney at email@example.com.
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