video thumbnail

ATL@TOR: Gattis' homer chips away at Blue Jays' lead

TORONTO -- In a battle of veteran hurlers on Monday night, Tim Hudson came out on the wrong side.

Hudson gave up six earned runs over six innings, and the Braves offense sputtered as Atlanta fell, 9-3, to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

"It was just not a very good night," Hudson said. "A night where I was battling a little bit with my delivery. My pitches weren't very crisp."

His rough night continued a string of poor starts, as the Braves' right-hander has allowed 19 earned runs over his last 19 2/3 innings.

On Monday, it was the long ball that gave the veteran trouble. Hudson gave up a pair of a two-run homers in what was his longest start in his last four outings.

In the second, Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus was the first to get to the 37-year-old, hitting a two-run home run on a 2-1 hanging breaking ball into the second deck in right field.

"The quality of the stuff I'm throwing up there isn't what I want it to be," Hudson said.

After allowing two more runs in the third, Hudson was stung by the home run again in the sixth. With a man on, Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia hit an 0-1 cutter into the seats in left-center field to give the Blue Jays a 6-1 lead.

Hudson's six earned runs allowed matched a season high, as the veteran gave up eight hits with one strikeout and a pair of walks.

"It seems like a lot of times I get in trouble is when I'm ahead of the count, and I'm not able to make some good pitches whenever I need to," Hudson said. "Obviously, I've gotten into some bad habits, and I just got to go clean it up a little bit.

"I know there's some adjustments that I need to make, obviously. The results stink for me right now, but I feel confident that things are going to get a lot better."

While Hudson struggled, Toronto starter Mark Buehrle had one of his best nights as a Blue Jay. Buehrle pitched six innings of one-run ball, allowing five hits and pair of walks with six strikeouts.

"He got us today," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He did a nice job today commanding both sides of the plate, making pitches, and he never gives in."

"I felt like I had a good groove going on," Buehrle said. "I got some luck on my side. I'm making good pitches when I have to, defense is playing behind me, me and J.P. are working well together right now."

The only run against Buehrle came in the fifth, when Andrelton Simmons hit a single to center in front of Rasmus, scoring Chris Johnson from third.

Buehrle, however, walked a fine line in the sixth. With Atlanta down 4-1, the Braves managed to put two runners on and the potential tying run came to the plate with one away, but Dan Uggla struck out on a cutter on the outside corner to end the threat.

"It was a pitcher's pitch there in that situation," Gonzalez said. "That's the [type of] guys that get us, that keep us off balance. He did a nice job."

In a way, that sixth inning was the tale of the night for the Braves, as Atlanta was 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base.

With Cory Rasmus on the mound in the seventh, an interesting circumstance occurred, as his brother, Colby, came to the plate for his fourth at-bat. It was the first time that brothers faced each other since Jeff and Jered Weaver squared off in 2010.

On this night, older brother Colby bested Cory with a double to left.

"I was hoping our brother got the better end of that one," Gonzalez said.

For Cory, who was making only his second Major League appearance, it was not the best outing. He allowed three earned runs in his two innings on the mound.

"It was still awesome," Cory said about pitching to his brother. "Obviously the outcome was the most important part, but it was a lot of fun. It just [stinks] that he got a hit.

"I got behind in the count, had to make some quality pitches, and he happened to get a fastball away, and hit it that way for a change."

All the runs against Cory came on one swing from Edwin Encarnacion, who hit a three-run shot into the first deck in left field to extend the Braves' deficit to 9-1.

That hit cemented the loss for Hudson, who has now lost three straight decisions, and is 4-4 on the season.

"He's just going through a couple of rough patches," Gonzalez said of his starter. "Huddy is a veteran guy, he's been around, we'll get him back on track."

MLB.com Comments