WP: Tim Hudson (10-7)
LP: Anibal Sanchez (6-4)
Four runs in the third inning was more than enough on this pre-trade deadline evening, as Tim Hudson dazzled the Marlins en route to a 5-1 win. We'll talk Hudson first. He was excellent. Huddy allowed just one run in seven innings, while allowing six hits, no walks, and striking out five. It was a vintage, old school Hudson performance, and that's something the Braves really need town the stretch. Jonny Venters loaded the bases in the eighth, but got out of the jam with a strikeout of Hanley Ramirez to end the frame, and a perfect ninth from Craig Kimbrel sealed the deal.
The Braves offense got it cranked up in the third, and that offensive outburst was all the team needed. Alex Gonzalez started with a single, and was driven home with two outs by Martin Prado. After a Freddie Freeman single, Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 21 games with a monstrous three run homer to left center to make it 4-0. The Braves would take on another run in the eighth on an Eric Hinske solo job. The Braves had nine hits on the games, and four players - Hinske, Gonzalez, Freeman, and Prado - each had two hits. The ninth was Uggla's bomb. Jason Heyward didn't get a hit, but did walk twice, as news of a possible demotion or platoon continues to swirl around his head. It's also worth noting that in Jose Constanza's eight at bats in the majors, six have ended with a ground out. And people thought he'd be a good spark plug to the offense....tough to do that when you can't get the ball out of the infield.
Braves are looking for the sweep tomorrow. They'll send their ace, Tommy Hanson, to the hill to take on the embattled Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins. Hopefully there will be news of a trade for a center fielder during that game, and we don't have to deal with the charade of slap hitters at the top of the lineup anymore.