Reporting Byron Kerr
Atlanta’s Tim Hudson was in midseason form and Brian McCann had three hits and 5 RBI as the Braves beat the Nationals 11-2 before 22,210 at Nationals Park.
Hudson was impressive, allowing only one run in the first, going seven innings, scattering only three hits with one walk and five strikeouts, including the final two batters he faced.
Atlanta put the game away with six runs in the eighth inning.
The Braves scored first on an RBI single by McCann. McCann added a huge two-run single with the bases loaded in the seventh against Doug Slaten to add insurance. He came back in the eighth with another two-run single.
The Nationals tied the game in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Adam LaRoche. Jayson Werth was tagged out at home plate but then the run was allowed due to runner intereference against third baseman Chipper Jones.
Atlanta got a pair of extra base hits and an error by Danny Espinosa to score two runs and take the lead 3-1 in the fifth inning. Alex Gonzalez opened with a triple and later scored. Tim Hudson walked, and after a Martin Prado double, scored when Espinosa had trouble with the relay throw.
Hudson shut down the Nationals from the second hitter of the second inning on, retiring 17 straight hitters.
Jerry Hairston Jr. added an RBI ground out for the Nats in the eighth to make it 11-2 Braves.
The Nationals now embark on their first road trip of the season beginning in Miami Tuesday night against the Florida Marlins from Sun Life Stadium. Nats right-hander Jason Marquis takes on the Marlins right-hander Anibal Sanchez. Marquis earned a win in his last start in Miami (August 30,2010), but owns a 7.07 career ERA vs. the Fish.
Nationals pregame show begins at 6:35 pm Tuesday night on AM 1580