Braves 8, Marlins 4
ATLANTA (AP)—It was windy. It was chilly. No big deal for Tim Hudson.
“It wasn’t exactly ideal conditions,” said Hudson. “It’s not that it was cold, but it was really windy, making it pretty chilly.”
The temperature at game-time was 45 degrees with 22 mph winds.
“this was more like football weather than baseball weather,” said Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez. “It was a tough day to play.”
It was the third home run in the last four games for Chipper Jones, who has seven RBIs during that stretch. His 396-foot blast in the third inning off Scott Olsen (2-1) capped a five-run inning and ended Atlanta’s two-game losing streak. Andruw Jones hit his third of season in the fifth off Rick Vanden Hurk.
Hudson (2-0), who is 102-17 in his career when his team scores at least four runs, allowed one run and six hits, walking four and striking out four. The right-hander, who is 5-0 against the Marlins, was helped by three double plays.
“Today was one of those days that I bent, but didn’t break,” said Hudson, who has allowed two earned runs in his three starts and has an ERA of 0.86.
“I couldn’t ask for a better start,” said Hudson. “We were able to put together a big inning and that allowed me to relax. My command was not there, but a lot of that was due to the conditions.
“It was a tough day to get the feel and I fell behind a lot but was able to make pitched when I needed to.”
The only run off Hudson came in the first when Hanley Ramirez led off with a single, stole second and went to third on an infield single by Dan Uggla. Ramirez scored when Miguel Cabrera, who entered the game leading the National League with a .429 average and 13 RBIs, grounded into a double play.
“That’s the kind of pitcher he is,” said Florida’s first-year manager Fredi Gonzalez, who was a Braves coach the previous four seasons.
“He’s up there with the top pitchers. They will give up a run, but they don’t let things get out of hand,” he said.
“Huddy continues to dominate. Every start has been like today. He’s been brilliant,” said Braves manager Bobby Cox.
Hudson was coming off his worst season a year ago when he was 13-12 with a career-high 4.86 ERA.
“He’s spotting the ball much better. His control is so much better,” said Cox. “He’s on a mission. He’s going to win a ton.”
The Braves sent 10 batters to the plate in the third. Craig Wilson led off with a single before Olsen walked Hudson and Kelly Johnson to load the bases. Edgar Renteria singled to left scoring Wilson and when the throw home got past catcher Miguel Oliva for an error, Hudson scored. Chipper Jones followed with his drive over the left field fence to give the Braves a 5-1 lead.
“Chipper got us ahead and that about did it. That home run was huge. It sealed it for us,” said Cox.
“I got killed. I couldn’t throw strikes,” said Olsen, who said his 0-2 pitch to Jones was “down, but not as far down as it should have been.”
Atlanta made it 7-1 in the fifth when Chipper Jones walked and Andruw followed with a 389-foot drive into the left field stands.
The Braves said IF Willie Aybar was suspended for three games for violation of team policy, but did not elaborate. Aybar, who is on the 15-day DL with a sprained right hand, was suspended for Sunday’s game and two against Washington on Monday and Tuesday nights. … Braves CF Andruw Jones and Marlins P Dontrelle Willis wore No. 42 to honor the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut. … It was the 57th time the Jones’ hit homers in the same game, tops among current teammates and the Braves are 51-6 when they do.