WASHINGTON D.C. -- Tim Hudson hurled eight shut-out innings and Yunel Escobar belted a sixth inning homer that would prove to be all the Atlanta Braves needed to beat the Washington Nationals by a 3-0 margin on Friday.
After suffering a last at-bat victory by the Nationals on Opening Day, Hudson (2-0) took his performance a step further with eight scoreless frames. Hudson allowed just three hits and struck out five. Hudson has turned in a great start against Washington seemingly every time out, improving to 6-1 with a 1.11 ERA in 10 career starts.
Stung by Ryan Zimmerman 's walk-off in the season's first game, Peter Moylan shut down Washington in the ninth, striking out Zimmerman to end the game. Moylan, filling in for sidelined closer Rafael Soriano, converted his first save of the season and his sixth straight scoreless appearance.
Escobar's sixth inning homer was the only mistake that Nationals starter Matt Chico (0-2) made, matching Hudson with eight inning of work. Chico allowed five hits and struck out three while walking only one.
Atlanta got some insurance in the ninth, when Matt Diaz stroked a two-out, two-run single against Washington reliever John Rauch. It seemed as though a promising inning was going to go by the boards before Diaz came through. The Braves had loaded the bases with no one out before Rauch rallied to strike out both Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann.
On Deck: The Braves and Nationals resume hostilities on Saturday, John Smoltz will take the mound against John Lannan of Washington. Game time is set for 1:05 PM EST.
Grant McAuley covers baseball for the Atlanta Braves Radio Network. For more, click here.