Photo via USA TODADY SPORTS IMAGES
ATLANTA - Tim Hudson was a dual threat in his 200th career win, combining with Anthony Varvaro on a three-hitter while hitting a homer and a double to lead the Atlanta Braves to an 8-1 win over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.
Hudson (3-1) dominated the Nationals through seven innings, striking out six and walking two while giving up one run. One of the three hits he allowed was an infield single by Denard Span.
Hudson's bat almost stole the night. He led off the second with a double to left field off Gio Gonzalez (2-2) and hit a fifth-inning homer off Zach Duke. Bryce Harper made a leaping attempt to catch the homer, but the ball bounced off his glove and over the wall.
The Braves won their ninth straight against Washington, dating to last season.
Andrelton Simmons had three hits, including a homer to lead off the first inning for Atlanta. Freddie Freeman had three singles and three RBIs, and Evan Gattis drove in two runs with two hits.
Hudson's homer was the third of his career and first since June 20, 2011 against Toronto.
The 37-year-old became the third active pitcher with 200 wins, joining Andy Pettitte (248) and Roy Halladay (201). Hudson is 200-105 in his career, including 92 wins while with Oakland from 1999-2004.
Hudson allowed no hits until Tyler Moore led off the fifth with a double to the right-field corner. Moore scored from third on a groundout by Wilson Ramos.
Moore started with Jayson Werth being held out because of a sore left ankle and tightness in his right hamstring. Werth fouled a ball off his ankle Monday night.
Ian Desmond led off the seventh with a triple to right field but was stranded on third as Hudson ended his night by striking out Chad Tracy and Ramos.
Gonzalez lasted only four innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and a season-high five walks. The left-hander has allowed five or more runs in three of his six starts this season, leaving his ERA at 5.34. It was the second start this season Gonzalez has pitched only four innings.
After Simmons led off the first with a line-drive homer that just cleared the left-field wall, Justin Upton reached on a one-out walk and scored on a double by Gattis. Chris Johnson and Freeman had run-scoring singles in the second, and Gattis drove in another run with a single in the fourth.
The Braves stretched the lead with three runs off Duke in the fifth, including a two-run single by Freeman that skipped past LaRoche's glove at first base.
B.J. Upton ended the sixth with a leaping catch of Adam LaRoche's drive off Hudson before crashing into the centerfield wall.
Varvaro pitched two perfect innings in relief of Hudson.