published Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Hudson, Braves win 5-2

ATLANTA -- Tim Hudson gave the Braves' ailing rotation a lift and Atlanta got home runs from Brian McCann and Chipper Jones in a 5-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.

The Braves are 8 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis in the National League wild-card race but face growing concerns about the health of their starting pitchers.

Right-hander Jair Jurrjens said Thursday an MRI on his sore right knee showed a bone bruise and he plans to see a specialist. Jurrjens could join right-hander Tommy Hanson (sore right shoulder) on the disabled list.

Hudson (14-8) allowed one run and five hits in six innings while passing Jurrjens for the team lead in wins. The right-hander improved to 5-1 with a 2.03 earned run average in his last seven starts.

Jonny Venters yielded a run in the eighth before striking out two batters with the bases loaded. Craig Kimbrel gave up a single to Wilson Ramos but struck out the side in the ninth for his 42nd save, extending the major league rookie record he set Wednesday night.

Chien-Ming Wang (2-3) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings for Washington, which has lost eight of nine games.

McCann hit his 23rd homer in the first inning. Jones, who hit his 450th career homer Wednesday night, went deep in the second.

Washington's Jayson Werth led off the sixth with a long homer to left.

Atlanta led 4-1 before Washington rallied in the eighth. With one out and the bases loaded, Michael Morse hit a grounder to third baseman Jones, who dropped the ball for an error as he was preparing to throw to second to start a possible double play. Jonny Gomes, who reached on an infield single, scored from third.

Venters, who issued two walks in the inning, then struck out pinch-hitter Jesus Flores and Danny Espinosa to end the threat.

Washington right fielder Laynce Nix left the game in the third inning after straining his right groin. The Nationals did not say how Nix was injured. He is day-to-day.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman did not start because of a sore right quadriceps muscle. Eric Hinske filled in for Freeman and had a run-scoring single in the fourth. Freeman replaced Hinske in the seventh.

Dan Uggla doubled off Wang in the sixth and scored on a single by Alex Gonzalez. Jason Heyward hit a triple off Tyler Clippard in the eighth and scored on Gonzalez's fly ball to center.

The Braves recalled catcher J.C. Boscan and pitcher Anthony Varvaro from Triple-A Gwinnett. New Braves infielder Jack Wilson, acquired from Seattle on Wednesday night for a player to be named and cash, joined the team. Wilson is on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised left heel and is eligible to be activated today.

Braves rookie pitcher Brandon Beachy will face Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley in the first game of a weekend series tonight.

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