Tim Hudson won a pitchers' duel with All-Star David Price and got support in the form of a home run from old pal David Ross. But the most important play in Sunday's 2-0 win against Tampa Bay turned out to be a baserunning mistake by the Rays, for which the Braves felt fortunate.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning, and Jonny Venters' command faltering, Luke Scott's hard-hit grounder struck Rays baserunner Carlos Pena in the leg as he ran toward second base. Pena was called out and the Braves, having avoided a potential game-changing moment, held on for the win to take the interleague series 2-1.
"We had some baseball gods on our side," Hudson said. "We've had plenty of times where it went the wrong way for us, so it's nice to finally be on the positive side of a crazy play like that, which essentially sealed the win for us."
Hudson (3-1) allowed four hits and two walks in 7-2/3 innings and has a 1.25 ERA in his past three starts, and Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts for his National League-leading 13th save as the Braves dealt the Rays their first shutout of the season.
But that other out, the third one of the eighth, threatened to be the Braves' undoing.
"That eighth inning was a little interesting," said manager Fredi Gonzalez, whose first-place Braves got their seventh win in 10 games and stayed 1-1/2 games ahead of Washington in the NL East. "I don't think I've ever seen an inning in the major leagues end the way that inning ended. But we'll take it."
Braves win behind Hudson gem, Tampa Bay blunder
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | May 21