Published April 13, 2013
| Sports Network
Washington, DC – Evan Gattis slugged a two-run homer and Tim Hudson pitched seven strong innings, as the Atlanta Braves continued their torrid start with a 3-1 win over the Washington Nationals.
Hudson (2-0) limited the Nationals to a run on four hits with three strikeouts and no walks to win his second straight start. He also had two of Atlanta's eight hits and improved to 15-5 lifetime against the Nationals.
"We're just fortunate to get off to a good start and not get behind an 8-ball too much," Hudson said. "Hopefully we just keep it up."
Ramiro Pena, who belted a go-ahead homer in the 10th inning of Friday's win, also stroked a pair of hits in the victory. Atlanta has won eight straight and the 10-1 start is the best for the Braves since the 1994 squad opened 13-1.
Danny Espinosa homered for Washington's lone run and Stephen Strasburg (1-2) took a hard-luck loss. The ace right-hander was charged with two unearned runs on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in six innings.
The Braves had a runner cut down in the second inning when Bryce Harper threw out Dan Uggla trying to score from second on a single by Hudson, but picked up a pair of unearned runs in the third. Justin Upton reached on a two-out error by Ryan Zimmerman and Gattis followed with a drive over the left-center field wall for his fourth home run.
"The previous at-bat I was up there missing a little bit," Strasburg said. "I decided to try and go fastball away. I did it again and ran in one."
Washington was unable to convert leadoff singles in each of the first two innings, as Jayson Werth lined into a double play in the first and Adam LaRoche bounced into a twin-killing in the second.
The Nationals finally answered with a run in the fifth on Espinosa's two-out blast into the right field seats.
Hudson, though, retired the last seven batters he faced and Eric O'Flaherty worked a perfect eighth.
The Braves added a run in the ninth when Jason Heyward beat the relay on a potential double-play grounder with the bases loaded and Craig Kimbrel set down the Nats in order in the ninth to earn his sixth save.
Atlanta's B.J. Upton ended an 0-for-18 slump with a bloop single in the ninth inning ... Hudson has now won each of his three matchups with Strasburg ... Harper was 0-for-3 and failed to pick up a hit for just the second time in 11 games this season ... The Braves are 5-0 on a six-game road trip that ends Sunday ... The series finale will feature Paul Maholm for Atlanta against Washington lefty Gio Gonzalez.