Tim Hudson's first inning struggles continued on Sunday afternoon against the Washington Nationals, who are now 6-2 against the Braves this season. Despite a late three-run homer from Freddie Freeman, Atlanta was unable to get over the hump offensively as they lost 8-4. The club is now 4.5 games back in the National League East.
Hudson surrendered four runs in the first inning, one of which came on a misplayed ball error from Michael Bourn. Chipper Jones cut the deficit to 4-1 in the third inning with a double down the right field line, but Ryan Zimmerman moved the score to 5-1 with a monster homer in the fifth. Washington's backup catcher, Jhonatan Solano, drove in a run in the sixth to increase their lead to 6-1.
Freeman made things interesting in the sixth. Chipper Jones and Dan Uggla drew walks to begin the inning, and Freeman deposited a ball deep into the right-center field seats to end Gio Gonzalez's day. The Braves had a handful of scoring opportunities in the seventh and eighth innings, but they were unable to plate any runs.
With the score still 6-4 in the ninth, Jonny Venters entered the game and continued to struggle. He allowed two runs to score, increasing the deficit to four runs. Atlanta did not have a batter reach base in the bottom of the ninth, sealing an 8-4 loss for the club.
The Braves will now welcome in the Cubs for a four-game series beginning Monday night.
For more on the club, check out Talking Chop.