Braves 8, Mets 2

Jerry Beach, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Tim Hudson threw 7 2/3 strong innings Wednesday night before being carted off the field with a lower right leg injury in the Atlanta Braves' 8-2 win over the New York Mets in front of 28,194 at Citi Field.
The victory by the Braves (57-44) was surely tempered by what looked to be a serious injury suffered by Hudson, who was twirling a four-hit shutout when he ran to cover first on Eric Young's grounder.
First baseman Freddie Freeman bobbled the ball before recovering it and flipping to Hudson, who beat the speedy Young to the bag. But as he crossed the bag, Young stepped on Hudson's lower right leg.
Hudson hopped once before falling face-first on the grass. Young, sensing immediately that Hudson was hurt, whirled and ran to his side as Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and trainer Jeff Porter bolted from the dugout.
Young remained there for the next several minutes as Hudson -- who turned 38 on July 14 -- laid motionless with his hands on his head and a look of resignation on his face.
Once Hudson was placed on the cart, Young went over and shook Hudson's hand before he walked off the field and began wiping his eyes.
Reliever Luis Avilan came on and surrendered a two-run double to Daniel Murphy before Jordan Walden struck out David Wright to end the inning.
Hudson (8-7) won his fourth straight start by allowing the two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out a season-high nine -- his most since he whiffed 10 Mets in a 1-0 win on Sept. 17, 2011.
Seven of Hudson's strikeouts were looking, including four in a row in the sixth and seventh innings.
Dan Uggla hit a three-run homer to fuel a five-run fifth by the Braves. Andrelton Simmons hit a two-run homer in the fifth while Evan Gattis hit a solo shot in the second. Uggla, Simmons and Gattis all had two hits apiece.
Murphy had two doubles for the Mets (44-53) while Marlon Byrd had a pair of singles.
Jeremy Hefner (5-7) endured a second straight woeful start for the Mets. Hefner allowed all six runs (five earned) on six hits and one walk while striking out three over 4 1/3 innings.
The two teams were locked in a crisp pitcher's duel before the Braves batted around in the fifth, when they unloaded on Hefner for five runs.
The Mets survived a scary moment in the fourth when Wright hit himself in the head with his bat during his backswing. Wright grimaced and put his hands on his knees as the Braves began a 6-4-3 double play. Wright was visited by trainers but was fine and smiled in embarrassment as he walked off the field.
NOTES: Mets minor league C Travis d'Arnaud began a rehab assignment Wednesday with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Mets and went 1-for-3 while catching five innings. It was the first game for d'Arnaud since he suffered a broken left foot while playing for Triple-A Las Vegas in April. ... Mets LHP Jonathon Niese (left rotator cuff tear) has thrown in the bullpen and is expected to begin a rehab assignment with the GCL Mets no later than Aug. 1. ... Braves OF Jordan Schafer, who hasn't played since July 3 due to a contusion and a stress fracture in his right ankle, has begun light running but has yet to begin baseball-related activities. ... Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said LHP Paul Maholm (left wrist contusion) will make a rehab start before returning to the Braves. Maholm will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, retroactive to Sunday, in order to make room for LHP Alex Wood, who will start in place of Maholm in the series finale against the Mets.

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