published Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Hudson, Atlanta Braves beat Astros, 4-1

Atlanta Braves' Jason Heyward scores on a Chipper Jones two-run double in the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros in Atlanta, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.
Atlanta Braves' Jason Heyward scores on a Chipper Jones two-run double in the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros in Atlanta, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ATLANTA — Tim Hudson gave up only four hits and no earned runs in 7 1/3 innings to remain unbeaten in his career against Houston, and the Braves stayed hot with a 4-1 win Friday night that left the Astros with their worst 32-game stretch in franchise history.

The Astros have won three of those games. Houston's worst 32-game stretch before the 2012 season was 5-27, most recently from June 26 to July 29, 1962, as the Colt .45s, according to STATS LLC.

The Braves improved to 7-1 for their 10-game homestand.

Hudson (11-4) is 5-0 in seven career starts against the Astros. He has won five straight decisions.

Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth to earn his 31st save.

Chipper Jones had a two-run double in Atlanta's three-run third inning. Martin Prado had two doubles.

Atlanta trails first-place Washington by two games in the National League East after the Nationals split a doubleheader with Miami on Friday.

Jones' third-inning double drove in Prado, who doubled, and Jason Heyward, who walked. Jones scored when shortstop Marwin Gonzalez lost Dan Uggla's high popup, which dropped in shallow left field for a double.

Prado's RBI double in the fourth gave Atlanta a 4-0 lead.

The Astros scored an unearned run off Hudson in the sixth. Ben Francisco had an infield hit and moved to second on Uggla's throwing error. Francisco scored from third on a groundout by J.D. Martinez.

Tensions rose in the sixth inning as pitcher Armando Galarraga and Prado exchanged stares as each backed away during a long at-bat. Prado and catcher Carlos Corporan exchanged words, prompting Michael Bourn, who was on first base following a walk, and first-base coach Terry Pendleton to take a few steps toward the mound. Umpires stepped in to prevent an altercation.

Galarraga walked Prado on the next pitch and was pulled from the game.

Jordan Schafer had one hit in his first return to Atlanta since his July 31, 2011, trade from the Braves.

Left-hander Paul Maholm, acquired from the Cubs on Monday night, will make his first start for the Braves tonight.

Houston placed relief pitcher Francisco Cordero on the 15-day disabled list with an inflamed right big toe. Cordero, who came to Houston on July 20 in a trade with Toronto, is 0-3 with a 19.80 ERA and three blown saves in six games with the Astros. Overall, he has a 7.55 ERA. Manager Brad Mills said fellow right-hander Wilton Lopez has assumed the closer's role.

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