Hudson gets no defensive help, but blames himself

Tim Hudson got little help from his teammates.

Two errors were charged. Two more could've been.

But Hudson was kicking himself for making a big mistake that didn't show up in the error column.

Coming off a one-hitter, Hudson gave up three-run homers to Laynce Nix and Jayson Werth as the Washington Nationals built a big lead and held on for a 7-6 win over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.

"Huddy pitched well," said Nate McLouth, who made perhaps the most crucial error when he dropped a flyball in the fourth inning. "He didn't deserve that. That ball I dropped, there's no excuses."

Hudson said his stuff felt as good as it did in his previous start against Milwaukee, when he faced only two hitters over the minimum for an 8-0 shutout.

But the results were much different this time. He lasted only five innings, his shortest stint of the season.

"Obviously, that was an aberration of how we normally play," Hudson said. "I'd be an idiot to complain about a few errors here and there."

Besides, Hudson felt he made the biggest mistake of all. With two outs in the fifth and the Braves trailing 4-1, the right-hander shook off catcher Brian McCann's signal for a fastball to Werth. Instead, he threw a changeup over the inside corner. Werth knocked it over the left-field wall for his three-run shot.

"The pitch to Werth was brutal," Hudson said. "Not only did we make some errors on defense, I made one, too."

Jason Marquis (4-1) beat the team he broke in with for a milestone win. The 32-year-old gave up seven hits and three runs in 7 1-3 innings to improve his career mark to 100-93. The first 14 wins came with the Braves from 2000-03.

"It was exciting, obviously, that I got 100 here," he said. "It's definitely a special part of my career. Who would have ever thought when I first broke in that I'd get to this point? But I guess a lot of hard work and good fortune with health has allowed me to do that."

Trailing 7-1, the Braves scored five times in the eighth off Marquis and two relievers, capped by Dan Uggla's three-run homer off Tyler Clippard. Pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad hit one to the wall in the ninth that was hauled in just a few feet short of a tying homer, good enough for Drew Storen to earn his eighth save in eight chances.

"The way we came back makes me feel good about this ballclub," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

But there was some potentially bad news for the Braves: Right fielder Jason Heyward left the game in the eighth because of lingering pain in his right shoulder. He'll undergo an MRI on Thursday.

"It's been bothering me pretty good since spring training," Heyward said. "That last at-bat, my hand got numb and it wouldn't go away. Fredi told me to come in and get it checked out."

Hudson had allowed only one homer all season before the Nationals took him deep twice.

Nix took advantage of McLouth's error with a homer that pushed the Nationals to a 4-0 lead. Werth, off to a slow start after signing a $126 million contract over the winter, appeared to put it out of reach with his fifth homer of the year.

Early on, the Braves couldn't do anything right.

Roger Bernadina led off the game with soft roller to first that was scooped up by Freddie Freeman. The normally sure-handed fielder started trotting toward the bag — and inexplicably dropped the ball before he got there for an error. After Bernadina stole second, Ian Desmond hit a grounder up the middle that was bobbled by shortstop Diory Hernandez, filling in for ailing Alex Gonzalez. It was ruled a hit but just as easily could've been Atlanta's second error of the inning.

Werth grounded into a double play to bring home Washington's first run.

Hudson cruised into the fourth, still having allowed only the one questionable hit, and retired the first two batters. Then, more defensive problems.

Adam LaRoche hit a tricky grounder toward first that ricocheted off Freeman attempting a backhanded scoop. Originally called an error, it was changed to a hit. But Freeman's disgusted reaction made it clear he should've made the grab. Wilson Ramos followed with a flyball to right-center that gave Atlanta a second chance at the third out.

McLouth called for the ball running over from center, then took a peak at Heyward come in from right. Perhaps he was mindful of a collision the two had last year that left the much-smaller McLouth with a concussion. Whatever the case, the ball caromed off McLouth's glove for an error, extending the inning.

This time, the Nationals really made Atlanta pay. Nix drove a low fastball deep into the right-field seats for his fourth homer of the season.

"I took my eye off the ball to see where Heyward was," McLouth conceded. "I just took it for granted that I was going to catch it."

The Braves picked up their first hit off Marquis in the bottom half, Martin Prado leading off with his fourth homer to make it 4-1. Werth canceled that out — and then some — with his drive over the left-field wall, another big two-out hit for the Nationals.

NOTES: Gonzalez sat out after tweaking his left hamstring Sunday. He said the injury is "nothing to worry about" and he could be back as soon as Wednesday. ... RHP Cristhian Martinez gave the Braves a chance to get back in it with three scoreless innings.