ATLANTA -- It may not have been the finest start of the season for Tim Hudson, but some timely hitting helped the Atlanta Braves back their ace hurler in a 7-6 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday.

Rookie shortstop Brent Lillibridge, pressed into action with Yunel Escobar still nursing a left shoulder injury, chipped in a pair of hits. His second inning double drove in the Braves first runs of the game, giving Hudson a 2-0 lead.

The Nationals stormed right back with two of their own in the top of the third. Ryan Langerhans and Paul Lo Duca each contributed RBI-singles to tie things up.

Brian McCann provided a bases-clearing double as part of a four-run Atlanta third inning against Washington starter Tim Redding (7-4). The Braves scored six times in four innings against Redding, who allowed six hits and walked three on the night.

Win is exactly what the Braves will have to do from this point on if they hope to make a run at the playoffs this season. Hudson (10-7) was charged with five runs on nine hits over six and two thirds innings, with his bullpen hanging on to give the Braves the 1-run triumph.

The Braves have been on the wrong end of the 1-run contests this season, with Friday's win giving them just a 6-22 record in those games.

Mike Gonzalez extended his string of consecutive saves to 34, dating back to the 2004 season. The Nationals did not go quietly, however, scoring a run and putting the game-tying run on third base before Gonzalez shut the door. It was the fourth save of the season for the Atlanta closer.

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