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Sunday February 7th, 2016 4:52PM

Hudson pitches Braves past Diamondbacks, 8-1

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- Tim Hudson answered manager Fredi Gonzalez's call for improved starts from Atlanta's rotation and the Braves opened their longest homestand of the season by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-1 on Tuesday night.

Hudson (6-3) allowed one run and seven hits in eight innings. He had seven strikeouts.

Freddie Freeman had three hits and drove in two runs, Chipper Jones also had three hits and Michael Bourn cracked a first-inning homer for Atlanta, which piled up 17 hits.

Arizona right-hander Daniel Hudson (3-2) left in the second inning with tightness in his right forearm. He gave up five runs and seven hits in 1 2-3 innings.

Jason Kubel hit a third-inning homer for Arizona, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.

Anthony Varvaro gave up one hit in a scoreless ninth for Atlanta.

After giving up five hits and three runs in the second, Daniel Hudson motioned to the dugout. Arizona manager Kirk Gibson and assistant trainer P.J. Mainville visited the mound. Hudson shook his head as the two approached and was escorted back to the dugout.

Daniel Hudson also struggled in his previous start, giving up seven runs in a loss to Seattle last Tuesday. He was on the disabled list from April 21 to May 27 with a right shoulder impingement.

Brian McCann drove in two runs with two hits, including an eighth-inning single off Craig Breslow that drove in Jason Heyward.

The Braves won the opener of a 10-game homestand. They play 16 of their next 19 at Turner Field.

Gonzalez said before the game he is confident in his hitters. He said he needs more long outings from his starting pitchers.

"That to me is the only thing that has been missing," Gonzalez said, adding he would "challenge our pitchers to give us six or seven innings each time" in the 13 games before the All-Star break.

Tim Hudson was sharp as he surpassed the standard set by Gonzalez. After Kubel's homer, Hudson did not allow another runner to reach second base. He improved to 7-0 in nine career starts against the Diamondbacks.

Josh Collmenter took over for Daniel Hudson and gave up a run-scoring single to McCann in the second. Collmenter gave up six hits but no runs in four innings.

The inning began with back-to-back doubles by Jones and Freeman. Andrelton Simmons had a run-scoring single to right field and, following a single by Bourn, scored on Heyward's sacrifice fly to right.

The Braves added two runs off Jonathan Albaladejo in the seventh. Dan Uggla, who was hit by a pitch leading off the inning, moved to second on Albaladejo's balk and scored on Freeman's fielder's choice grounder. Freeman moved to third on Simmons' double and scored on Tim Hudson's sacrifice fly.

It was the first matchup of pitchers with the same last name since the Dodgers' Jeff Weaver faced his brother Jered Weaver of the Angels on June 20, 2009, according to STATS LLC.

NOTES: RHP Trevor Bauer, the No. 3 pick in last year's amateur draft, will make his highly anticipated debut for Arizona on Thursday. Gibson said Bauer, 21, will be called up from Triple-A Reno, where he is 4-0 with a 2.82 ERA in eight starts. He will join the team on Wednesday. ... Gibson said SS Stephen Drew will be activated from the 15-day DL and start Wednesday night. Drew has missed the first three months with a broken right ankle. ... Heyward batted second for the second time this season, and his first-inning single gave him a career-best 11-game hitting streak. He was chosen NL player of the week on Monday. ... The series continues on Wednesday night as Atlanta RHP Tommy Hanson faces Arizona RHP Trevor Cahill.
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