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Braves Defeat Pirates 4-3 As Tim Hudson Returns To Mound

The Atlanta Braves welcomed back a familiar face Sunday afternoon against the Pirates, sending Tim Hudson to the mound for his first start of the season. Despite a shaky start and some poor defense early in the game, the Braves rallied in the middle innings to claim a 4-3 victory over Pittsburgh and Kevin Correia. The win improves Atlanta to 14-8 this season, including a 7-2 mark at home.

Hudson worked five innings on Sunday before being lifted after 96 pitches. The veteran righty, who is now in his eighth season with the Braves, allowed six hits and two walks on the afternoon, striking out six. Hudson was squeezed a bit by home plate umpire Doug Eddings and was on the wrong side of a few balls hit right down the foul lines, but he still managed to pitch well enough to claim his first victory of the season.

Jose Tabata of the Pirates drove in the first two runs of the game in the second inning with a two-RBI single to right field. Freddie Freeman cut the deficit in half in the third inning with a deep sacrifice fly to score Tim Hudson from third, who had previously reached base on a dropped fly ball by Andrew McCutchen to begin the inning.

With the score 2-1 in the fourth, Tyler Pastornicky came up clutch once again with a two-out RBI-double, his second in the last three games. Dan Uggla drew a bases loaded walk in the fifth to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead.

The Braves received stellar work from their bullpen on Sunday, receiving scoreless innings from Chad Durbin, Eric O'Flaherty and Jonny Venters. These three held the lead long enough for Martin Prado to provide an insurance run with a solo some run in the seventh inning to claim a 4-2 lead.

Craig Kimbrel surrendered a run in the ninth on a wild pitch that both he and McCann thought was a foul ball, but he still managed to battle back and record save No. 8 on the young season.

The Braves and Pirates will wrap up their four-game series on Monday evening at 7:05. Mike Minor will take the mound for Atlanta and will be opposed by John McDonald.

For more on the club, check out Talking Chop.

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