Braves 5, Cubs 1

The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- Right-hander Tim Hudson allowed only one run in 6 2/3 innings and drove in a run to help his own cause as Atlanta beat Chicago 5-1 on Sunday at Turner Field to complete a three-game sweep of the Cubs.

Hudson (1-0) gave up a run in the first inning, but settled down to scatter three hits and strike out seven. He outdueled Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija (1-1), who struck out a career-high 13 in 5 2/3 innings and absorbed his first career loss to Atlanta.

The Braves broke open a 1-1 tie by rallying for three runs in the sixth against Samardzija. A two-out single by Ramiro Pena with the bases loaded drove in two runs and Hudson knocked in another when his line drive glanced off the top of the glove of second baseman Alberto Gonzalez for a base hit.

The Braves added their final run on a solo home run by Dan Uggla, his second, in the eighth.

Hudson was replaced in the seventh inning with two outs after Luis Valbuena singled and Alberto Gonzalez reached on an error by Uggla, who dropped a short popup behind second base.

Luis Avilan got pinch hitter Scott Hairston to end the inning on an infield grounder and then pitched around two hits to record a scoreless eighth.

Jordan Walden pitched a scoreless ninth, as the Braves opted not to use closer Craig Kimbrell in a nonsave situation. Walden did not allow a hit and struck out the side.

The Cubs got a run in the first inning. David DeJesus led off with a long double, took third on a fly ball and scored on Anthony Rizzo's ground ball to first base.

The Braves threatened in the first inning when B.J. Upton led off with a single, stole second and took third when Dioner Navarro's throw went into center field. But Samardzija struck out the next three batters to end the threat.

Samardzija continued to baffle the Braves bats with a good fastball and an effective off-speed pitch. He struck out six straight and fanned 12 through five innings,

Hudson was almost as good. After allowing the leadoff double, he retired 15 of the next 17 batters, six by strikeout.

The Braves tied the game with a two-out rally in the fifth. Ramiro Pena doubled to right, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch.

Notes: The Braves placed first baseman Freddie Freeman on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique. Freeman was batting .412 (7-for-17) with one homer and seven RBI, tied with teammate Justin Upton for third in the league. The Braves purchased the contract of INF Blake DeWitt to replace Freeman. DeWitt hit .244 in 26 Grapefruit League games and was hitting .333 (2-for-6) in two games with AAA Gwinnett. Chris Johnson started at first in place of Freeman. ... Carlos Marmol officially has been replaced as Cubs closer by rookie Kyuji Fujikawa after three ineffective outings. But Chicago manager Dale Sveum left the door open for Marmol to reclaim the job. ... Braves SS Andrelton Simmons missed his second straight start with a jammed thumb. CF B.J. Upton hit leadoff in his place. ... Chicago returns home for its season opener after playing its first six games on the road. Atlanta is about to embark on a stretch where they play 16 of their next 18 games on the road.
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