WASHINGTON -- Tim Hudson allowed one run in seven innings to out-duel Stephen Strasburg as the red-hot Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals, 3-1, before a sellout crowd of 41,992 fans on Saturday.
The Braves, with their eighth consecutive victory, improved to 10-1, while the Nationals fell to 7-4.
Hudson (2-0) is 15-5 in his career against Washington after he gave up only four hits with no walks while throwing 90 pitches, 60 for strikes.
Rookie Evan Gattis of Atlanta hit a two-run home run in the third inning off Strasburg (1-2), who will try for a three-game sweep on Sunday.
Jayson Heyward drove in an insurance run in the top of the ninth to make it 3-1 when he beat out a fielder's choice as the Nationals tried to turn a double play with the bases loaded against reliever Ryan Mattheus.
Eric O'Flaherty pitched the eighth for Atlanta and retired Danny Espinosa for the second out on a grounder to second that brought a short argument from Washington manager Davey Johnson, who thought the throw by Dan Uggla drew the first baseman off the bag.
Wilson Ramos then hit a grounder off O'Flaherty that bounced to Uggla, who threw to first for the third out in the eighth. Craig Kimbrel picked up his sixth save in as many chances with a scoreless ninth.
Hudson was also aided by right fielder Heyward, who made a diving catch in the corner with no one on base to rob Adam LaRoche of at least a double for the third out in the seventh.
Washington left-hander Zach Duke came in for Strasburg in the seventh and retired all three batters he faced. Henry Rodriguez pitched the eighth for the Nationals, whose bullpen failed them Friday, and allowed two walks before retiring the side without allowing a run.
Hudson allowed only two hits in the first four innings, a single up the middle by Ryan Zimmerman in the second and a single by Jayson Werth in the fourth.
Danny Espinosa hit a home run to right field, his first of the season, off Hudson with two out in the fifth to pull the Nationals to within 2-1.
The Braves took advantage of Washington mistakes in the third to take a 2-0 lead against Strasburg, whose fastball was consistently clocked at 97 mph.
Justin Upton reached on a throwing error with two outs by Washington third baseman Zimmerman, whose error on Friday night aided the Braves 6-4 win in 10 innings.
Strasburg had Upton picked off, but he made it to second before the throw from first baseman Adam LaRoche.
Gattis, who a year ago at this time was playing for Class-A Lynchburg, hammered a 1-and-1 pitch from Strasburg over the Atlanta bullpen in left to make it 2-0.
It was the fourth big league home run for Gattis, who had not faced Strasburg until Saturday.
Atlanta had a chance to score in the second but Bryce Harper threw out Dan Uggla, who led off with a single, after Uggla tried to score on a two-out single by Hudson.
The Nationals wasted a scoring chance in the first. Denard Span led off with a single and went to second on a bad pickoff throw by Hudson. Werth then hit a liner to center that was caught by B.J. Upton as Span broke immediately for third. Upton threw to second to easily double up Span.
Strasburg gave up two unearned runs and five hits with seven strikeouts in six innings, but threw 112 pitches, 68 for strikes.
NOTES: Atlanta began play Saturday with a team ERA of 2.08, the best in the majors. ... The Braves are off to their best start since 1994, when they started 13-1. ... Washington leadoff man Denard Span, acquired from the Twins prior to this season, began the day with an on-base average of .467, fourth among all leadoff hitters in the majors. In 2011 the Nationals had an OBP of .285 from the leadoff spot, last in the majors. ... Four of the first five home runs by Bryce Harper this season have either tied the game or put Washington ahead. ... The hit by Span in the first was his first in five career at bats against Tim Hudson. ... The assist by Harper in the second was the 10th of his young career.