Blue Jays 6, Braves 3

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ATLANTA (AP)—The Atlanta Braves, desperate for a sign that their bad luck and losing streak might end, instead were given an early indication Wednesday night the misery would continue.

After retiring the first two Toronto batters in the third inning, Tim Hudson gave up three straight walks and then saw Lyle Overbay’s broken-bat fly ball drop in shallow center field for a two-run single that sparked the Blue Jays to a 6-3 victory over the Braves.

The loss was the Braves’ ninth straight, their longest losing streak in 18 years.

“That’s baseball,” Hudson said of Overbay’s hit. “We’re just not very good right now. We’re just playing bad baseball. We’ve got to do everything better.”

The Braves have lost nine straight games for the first time since opening the 1988 season with 10 straight losses.

The Braves have lost 19 of 22 games, including a 2-17 mark in June. They trail first-place New York by 14 1/2 games in the NL East, their largest deficit since 1990 when Atlanta finished last, 26 games back.

Atlanta (30-42) is 12 games under .500, another low point for the franchise since the end of the 1990 season.

“It’s frustrating,” said Jeff Francoeur, who had two of the Braves’ seven hits. “To come out every day and lose like this is really frustrating. It’s no fun losing like this.”

Hudson seemed to be the ideal candidate to end the Braves’ losing streak. While with Oakland, Hudson was 10-1 with a 2.32 ERA in 13 career starts against the Blue Jays, including five straight wins.

Instead, Hudson was hurt by five walks as he couldn’t keep pace with Toronto’s Ted Lilly, who won his second straight start after three consecutive losses.

Vernon Wells hit his 18th homer for Toronto and Lilly (7-7) gave up six hits and three runs in six innings with seven strikeouts and two walks.

B.J. Ryan recorded the final three outs for his 19th save in 20 chances.

Hudson (6-6) gave up seven hits and five runs in seven innings.

For his second straight start, Hudson walked three in the third and they all scored. He also walked three batters who scored in the third inning of a 4-2 loss to Boston last Friday.

Hudson’s wild streak against Toronto came with two outs in the third. He walked Frank Catalanotto, Wells and Troy Glaus. Overbay then broke his bat while hitting a single to shallow center, driving in two runs.

The bad omen for Atlanta was good news for Toronto.

“You’re kind of like, man, hopefully this is going to be the night,” Overbay said. “You definitely don’t want to hit it any closer to Andruw (Jones). I was surprised he didn’t catch it.”

Overbay’s hit hurt, but Hudson was more upset about the three walks.

“I was trying to make the perfect pitch, I guess,” Hudson said, adding the Toronto batters consistently laid off “good pitcher’s pitches.”

Said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons of the three walks: “That’s rare. The key is, we got something out of it with two outs.”

Shea Hillenbrand and Gregg Zaun added run-scoring singles for a 4-0 lead. The inning ended with Braves second baseman Marcus Giles diving into the seats down the right-field line to catch Russ Adams’ foul ball.

The Braves scored one run in the fifth on Brian McCann’s leadoff single and stolen base and Giles’ two-out double.

The Braves scored two runs in the sixth to make it 4-3. Chipper Jones led off with Lilly’s second walk of the game and scored when Andruw Jones and Francoeur followed with singles. One out later, McCann drove in Andruw Jones with a sacrifice fly.

Wells’ homer in the seventh made it 5-3 and a run scored on a wild pitch in the eighth.


After the game, Toronto announced RHP Francisco Rosario had been sent to Triple-A Syracuse to clear a roster spot for RHP A.J. Burnett to be activated for Thursday’s game. … Lilly was making his first start at Turner Field since Sept. 19, 1999, while with Montreal. He had been 0-2 in three starts against the Braves. … After making two starts in left field, Braves rookie Scott Thorman made his first start at first base, his natural position.

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