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Tim Hudson Strikes Out 10 As Chipper Jones Propels Braves To 1-0 Victory

Saturday's game featured the exact same recipe the Atlanta Braves used to achieve all of their success this season: great pitching, solid defense, and timely hitting. 

Tim Hudson dominated the Mets for eight innings and struck out 10 batters despite consistently being squeezed by the home plate umpire. Hudson allowed just four hits and two walks and recorded his fifteenth victory of the season. For a pitcher who had struggled in his past few starts, it was a big game for the veteran.

R.A. Dickey was every bit as good as Hudson was until the eighth inning. Dickey had a two-hit shutout going until the late innings and kept the Braves hitters fooled all day with his wild-yet-effective knuckleball. He ended his day working 7.2 innings and allowed just one run. He deserved a better outcome, but Tim Hudson was just slightly better and proved to be victorious.

As for the Braves run, Jason Heyward walked to lead off the eighth. Jose Constanza came on as a pinch-hitter and bunted Heyward into scoring position. After Michael Bourn grounded out to move J-Hey to third and Martin Prado drew a walk, Chipper Jones came to the plate in front of the Turner Field crowd of 46,763 and hit a single back up the middle. The Ted erupted and Atlanta finally scratched out a run against Dickey.

Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth and blew David Wright, Lucas Duda and Jason Bay away with strikeouts. It was the 45th save of the season for the rookie, which ties him for the Major League lead with Detroit's Jose Valverde.

Needless to say, it was a huge victory for the Braves. Their magic number for the wild card is down to eight with the Cardinals set to play the Phillies this evening.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.