Beachy returns to make his first start in more than a year as Atlanta hosts the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.
The Braves (60-45) hold an 8 1/2-game lead on Washington as they seek their first NL East title since 2005. Hudson, though, suffered a broken right ankle while covering first base in Wednesday's 8-2 win over the New York Mets and will be recovering for the next four months after surgery.
Hudson had won four straight outings, but his spot in the rotation will be filled by Beachy, who had an NL-leading 2.00 ERA when he injured his elbow June 16, 2012, in a loss to Baltimore.
After having Tommy John surgery, Beachy went through a grueling rehab process before being cleared to start Monday. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Beachy will be limited to about 100 pitches."(It's) like getting a big piece in a trade at the deadline. Before he got hurt he was one of the most dominant pitchers in the National League," Gonzalez said. "I don't think he'll be that his first time out, but I think he'll be close."
The right-hander said he's ready to go."I feel good now and I've felt good ever since that point I was shut down," Beachy said. "I'm going to go out there and take the ball and keep it until they take it away from me."
Gonzalez, though, said no one person can replace Hudson."Nobody needs to be Huddy," Gonzalez said. "Nobody needs to be the ace or that kind of label. Believe me, I'm going to fight that the next two months when we're pitching well. Collectively, I think, as a unit you circle the wagons, you go out there and you get those three performances that we had (recently)."
Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa is proof that a successful return from Tommy John surgery is possible after he had the procedure done in 2011 before missing most of the 2012 season.
De La Rosa (10-5, 2.97 ERA) has been stellar this year and is 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA over his last seven starts after pitching six scoreless innings in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Miami. He said a sore left thumb hasn't been a factor."I've been pitching with that for a while," De La Rosa said.
The left-hander hasn't faced the Braves since giving up two runs in seven innings of a 5-2 victory Aug. 24, 2010. He'll look to help the Rockies get their 10-game road trip started on a positive note after a 6-5 win over Milwaukee on Sunday.
Michael Cuddyer and Troy Tulowitzki hit two of the four homers for Colorado (51-55), which went 5-5 on its homestand. A mediocre trip may damage its chances to catch the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, though."We know we're a talented team. We know we can compete with anyone in the league," Cuddyer said. "We've just got to be consistent. Hopefully (Sunday) was a stepping stone for that."
Colorado, though, has dropped 14 of the last 18 meetings with Atlanta, which completed a three-game sweep of NL-best St. Louis with Sunday's 5-2 victory. Jason Heyward homered and drove in two runs batting leadoff for the second straight game, while Chris Johnson had three hits and scored three times.
The Braves have won eight of the last nine home matchups with the Rockies.
|July 25, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Sprained right middle finger|
|July 23, 2013||Drew Pomeranz||15-Day DL||Left bicep tendinitis|
|July 15, 2013||Rafael Betancourt||15-Day DL||Appendicitis|
|July 08, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Sprained finger|
|July 08, 2013||Roy Oswalt||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|July 05, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Upper back strain|
|July 25, 2013||Tim Hudson||15-Day DL||Fractured right ankle|
|July 21, 2013||Paul Maholm||15-Day DL||Left wrist contusion|
|July 13, 2013||B.J. Upton||15-Day DL||Right adductor strain|
|July 11, 2013||Jason Heyward||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained right hamstring|
|July 04, 2013||Jordan Schafer||15-Day DL||Right ankle contusion|
|July 02, 2013||B.J. Upton||Day-to-Day||Left game - left forearm spasms|
ATLANTA (AP) -- Scott Downs never imagined his career taking such a wild turn.
"You have to chuckle," he said with a grin, "because you couldn't have written it any better."
After the Los Angeles Angels ' charter flight landed in Dallas about 12:30 a.m., Downs learned 10 hours later that he had been traded to the Atlanta Braves .
The left-handed reliever took the first flight available Monday and arrived at Turner Field about 10 minutes before the first pitch.
By 11:15 p.m., Downs had earned the win in the Braves' 9-8 victory over the Colorado Rockies in 10 innings.
"Different city, different team, different everything," Downs said. "But that's life. That's baseball. It's not that hard of a transition."
Andrelton Simmons drove in Dan Uggla from first base with a triple off Edgmer Escalona in the 10th to give the Braves their fourth straight victory.
After Uggla led off with a walk, Simmons hit the ball too deep into the gap in left-center field for Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler to keep it from reaching the wall.
Downs (1-0) gave up one hit and struck out one in 1 1-3 innings, but it was a strange experience.
After taking a shower during the game, Downs went to the bullpen and introduced himself to his new teammates.
He had to rescue his former Angels teammate, right-hander Jordan Walden , who blew the save in the ninth and left the bases loaded. Downs escaped the jam by making just one pitch, a liner he caught on the mound from Todd Helton .
In the 10th, Downs gave up a leadoff single, but got the next three outs to keep the score tied. Not long after that, he said he was excited to join a Braves team with the biggest division lead in the majors at nine games.
"It's great I'm in a situation to win," Downs said. "It's any athlete's dream to be wanted. I've been welcomed with open arms."
Escalona (1-4) allowed one hit, one run and one walk in 12 pitches.
Gonzalez went 5 for 5 with two RBIs after missing the last three games with a sprained middle right finger. He drove in the tying run in the ninth off Walden.
Atlanta's offense bailed out starting pitcher Brandon Beachy , who made his first start in 13 months after undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery.
Chris Johnson , who leads the NL with a .339 batting average, and Uggla each had two RBIs to help the Braves erase a 5-0 hole with six runs in the third inning, then rally from a two-run deficit in the fifth to make it 8-7.
Beachy gave up eight hits, a career-high seven runs and one walk with five strikeouts in 3 2-3 innings. He made 84 pitches, 58 for strikes.
Walden began the ninth because Braves closer Craig Kimbrel had the night off after earning saves in all three games against St. Louis last weekend.
Though he gave up two hits and walked two in two-thirds of an inning, Walden was glad to see Downs get the job done.
"He's a great guy," Downs said. "I don't even think he's met everyone yet. It's hard to introduce yourself in the middle of a game."
Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa gave up 10 hits and eight runs - five earned - with two walks and three strikeouts in five innings.
The Braves' six-run third, which gave them a 6-5 lead, was due in part to a fielding error by third baseman Nolan Arenado that ruined a chance for an inning-ending double play.
After Jason Heyward 's one-out RBI single made it 5-1, Arenado let Evan Gattis ' bases-loaded grounder bounce off the heel of his glove, allowing Heyward to score and keep the bases loaded.
"My instincts should have just kept going through the ball and go toward home," Arenado said. "On the sound of the bat, it sounded like it was hit pretty decently. When I realized that, I should have charged the ball."
Johnson followed with a two-run double before Uggla had an RBI groundout and Simmons' RBI double gave the Braves a 6-5 lead.
The Rockies scored twice in the fourth to go ahead 7-6 when Arenado hit his eighth homer. D.J. LeMahieu's single chased Beachy and Gonzalez scored on David Carpenter 's wild pitch.
All of Gonzalez's five hits were singles, raising his average nine points to .306. Gonzalez matched his career high for hits, which he first accomplished in a 9-4 victory at the Chicago Cubs on May 14.
The Rockies led 1-0 in the first on Gonzalez's RBI single, went up 2-0 in the second on Wilin Rosario 's 15th homer and took a 5-0 lead in the third on Michael Cuddyer 's two-run triple and Helton's sacrifice fly.
Beachy last pitched on June 16, 2012, against Baltimore. He missed 105 games recovering from a torn right elbow ligament and was tied for the major league lead with a 2.00 ERA when he was injured.
"It still stinks," Beachy said. "I'm not going to chuck this up to being part of the process. I pitched poorly and let the guys down after they got me the lead. It's unacceptable."
Notes: Walden blew his second straight save opportunity and first since April 26, 2012, when he pitched for the Angels at Tampa Bay. ... Atlanta improved to 8-4 in extra innings. Colorado dropped to 5-8. ... De La Rosa had gone 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA in his last seven starts. He left for a pinch-hitter in the sixth.