Hudson, Chipper Jones power Braves over Cubs
CHICAGO (Ticker) --
continues to make up for lost time.
Jones belted a pair of two-run homers and
tossed his first complete game of the season as the
posted a 4-2 victory over the
After sitting for eight games due to a rotator cuff injury, Jones has returned with a vengeance, going 17-for-36 (.472) with four home runs and 13 RBI in 10 games.
"My body has not allowed me to be productive (all season). I'm healthy now and I'm in there producing," Jones said. "I want to bring it every day from here to the end of the season. I'm going to go out there and play as hard as I can for this ballclub."
The pulse of the Braves' offense since 1995, the former National League MVP continued his hot hitting Monday, giving Atlanta a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning with his 12th homer off Cubs starter
"I missed a spot," Zambrano said. "I was trying to throw a fastball outside. When the ball came out of my hand, I knew it was going to catch too much of the plate. It was a big mistake."
Chicago tied the game against Hudson as
scored on a grounder in the bottom of the inning and All-Star
led off the seventh with his 37th homer, tying
for the club record by a first baseman.
"Hudson was tough tonight, he made a lot of good pitches," Lee said. "He threw a splitter to me that just hung in the strike zone. He didn't make many other mistakes."
But Jones struck again in the ninth, launching a 2-2 offering from converted starter
(3-4) over the right-center field wall with one on for his 31st career multi-homer game and first since August 25, 2004 against Colorado.
"I knew if I was going to have success against him, I would have to lay off the breaking ball down and in and make him bring it up," Jones said. "I got the count to 2-2 after falling down 0-2. I felt at some point he was going to have to throw that breaking ball, and he got it up and out over the plate."
Jones had been just 4-for-21 lifetime against Wood.
Wood, who has been moved to the bullpen due to shoulder problems, did not allow a run in his first seven relief appearances but has surrendered home runs in each of his last two outings.
"I've lost games before," Wood said. "You hate to lose, but I'll be fine. It was a three-hitter sequence. They got the job done and we didn't."
Hudson (10-7), who recorded 16 complete games in six seasons with Oakland, worked around a leadoff single by Lee in the ninth to seal the victory. The righthander, who uncorked a pair of wild pitches and hit a batter, allowed two runs, seven hits and a walk but struck out five and recorded 17 outs via grounders.
"From the start, I had a really good splitter and was able to locate my sinker," Hudson said. "It's fun when you are feeling good and hitting your spots. I was able to keep the ball down and those guys behind me were making some great plays."
Hudson kept the damage to a minimum after loading the bases with none out in the fourth. With Atlanta leading, 2-0, Hudson hit leadoff hitter Lawton with a pitch and
Lee drew a walk, but All-Star
bounced into a double play and
struck out with the tying run on third.
The performances by Jones and Hudson overshadowed a strong outing by Zambrano, who has lost just once in his last 11 starts. The righthander worked eight innings, yielding two runs and three hits while striking out 10 for the second consecutive start.
"Zambrano pitched great, definitely good enough to win," said Cubs manager
, whose team has lost three straight. "Tonight, it was too much Chipper. They said he was hot coming in, and he certainly is."