Tim Hudson and Kyle Kendrick spent the first seven innings putting zeros up on the scoreboard at Citizens Bank Ballpark. When you consider Hudson was pitching through some serious pain in his right ankle, it seemed unlikely the Braves could come out with a win on Friday night. And when it seemed like yet another scoring opportunity was about to slip through their fingers in the eighth inning, Freddie Freeman and Brian McCann came up huge.
Kendrick exited at the start of the eighth in favor of Antonio Bastardo. Matt Diaz led off the frame with a pinch-hit single and he was followed by a Michael Bourn walk. Now in a prime opportunity to score, it was up to Martin Prado and Jason Heyward. Prado lined out softly for the first out, and Heyward popped up on the infield for the second.
Chipper Jones came up and fell behind 1-2 in the count, but he worked the count and eventually drew a walk on eight pitches. With the bases loaded and two outs, Freeman moved ahead 3-0 against Bastardo before drawing a walk. The Braves finally had a 1-0 lead with a struggling Brian McCann coming up to the plate.
McCann took a hanging 0-1 slider and sent it deep into the Philadelphia night, clearing the bases with a grand slam homer. The Braves moved ahead 5-0, and the bullpen would do the rest on way to a huge win on the road.
Hudson was the other story of the night, tossing seven inning of shutout ball. He surrendered just four hits and a walk, and did so on just 79 pitches. Quite the performance for a veteran dealing with a bad ankle.
The Braves and Phillies will meet again on Saturday night for the FOX Game of the Week.
For more on the club, check out Talking Chop.