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MIAMI -- Strong starting pitching from Tim Hudson and a big night at the plate from Gregor Blanco helped the Atlanta Braves hand the Florida Marlins a 9-4 defeat on Wednesday.
The top of the Atlanta order set the table for the Atlanta all night. Blanco's 4-for-5 performance included a two-run eighth inning triple, three RBI total and three runs scored. Yunel Escobar chipped a pair of run scoring doubles and drove home three runs on the evening.
Hudson (11-7) allowed just three hits and a walk while fanning five over six scoreless frames. Atlanta opted to pull their ace starter after just 68 pitches, when he felt what was described as tightness in his right elbow.
A strained left hamstring may keep Chipper Jones out of the line-up for a while. Jones pulled up lame after running out a grounder to end the fourth inning. Both Jones and Hudson will be evaluated further when the team reaches Philadelphia.
Florida attempted to come back in the ninth, scoring four times before Mike Gonzalez came in to quiet the rally. Luis Gonzalez launched a three-run homer off Buddy Carlyle that broke up the shut-out and made it a 9-3 game. Florida would score once more before Gonzalez got Hanley Ramirez to fly to center and end a 9-4 Braves win.
Ricky Nolasco (10-6) was charged with five runs on eight hits in five innings of work. The Braves tacked four more runs on the board against reliever Ryan Tucker.
The win give the Braves a 48-53 record this season, putting them six games behind the Phillies and Mets, who are tied atop the National League East.
On Deck: The Braves will have a day off on Thursday before beginning a three-game weekend series against the East leading Phillies. Jair Jurrjens will take on Kyle Kendrick in the opener on Friday. Game time is set for 7:05 PM EST.