Wells outduels Hudson in Pirates' win
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Even normally reliable righthander
could not stop the
struck out seven in 7 2/3 scoreless innings and
had a two-run single in the sixth as the
posted a 3-1 victory over the Braves.
Coming off three losses in a four-game series at Washington, Atlanta was held to two runs or less for the fourth time in its last eight games. Overall, the Braves have lost six in that span.
"We just fell short at the end," Hudson said. "It's one of those things that when things are going bad, you have to overcome when a call doesn't go our way or don't get hits. We just have to keep our heads up."
Behind the stellar pitching of Wells (4-4), the Pirates continued their recent run of success against clubs in the National League East Division. After taking three of four games from the
earlier in the week, Pittsburgh is within three wins of .500 for the first time since opening the season 0-3.
"Kip threw the ball pretty well," Pirates manager
said. "He really didn't have overdominating stuff tonight, but he pounded the zone. He certainly came up big for us."
Wells, who allowed six hits and two walks, cruised into the eighth, when he loaded the bases following a two-out walk to
"I wasn't gassed, but the tricks I had in my bag had already been exposed," Wells said. "It was just a matter of making good pitches. You can get guys three different ways, but the fourth time they're up, you have to get creative."
The righthander was pulled in favor of
, who got pinch hitter
to ground to
at third. However, Sanchez bobbled the ball twice before making the throw, leaving an extremely close call for first base umpire Tim Timmons.
"It wasn't even a banger, to me, from the dugout," Braves manager
said. "Everyone (from the Braves' dugout) thought he was safe. That changed it around real quick. We can't afford missed calls right now. Tim's a good ump, but he just missed it. Who knows, we get the call at first, we could have tied it real quick."
Franco agreed with his manager. "It was a tough call," Franco said. "I wasn't mad about the call, I was mad about the situation. Don't rush the call. Make the right call, because I know he's wrong. That was the ballgame right there."
notched his 15th save despite yielding a run and three hits in the ninth.
opened the scoring with an RBI single in the fourth and was walked intentionally to load the bases in the sixth before Castillo laced a line drive to left field against Hudson to push the lead to 3-0.
"That was a big hit for us, probably the game," McClendon said. "We're really hanging on every pitch with a one-run lead against a tough ballclub. For Castillo to come through for us right there was big."
"It was a pretty decent pitch (a slider) that got a little more of the plate than I wanted," Hudson said. "He managed to get it out there."
Despite the outcome, Hudson did not regret the decision to walk Ward.
"I get that guy (Castillo) out 19 out of 20 times," Hudsons said. "He just got a good knock on it. I have to make a better pitch, that's all it is."
Hudson (6-4) absorbed just his second loss in his last five starts, allowing three runs, six hits and three walks in six innings.