The Braves got back to their winning ways by downing the Pirates 4-3 in Tim Hudson's first start of the 2012 season. Huddy worked five effective innings this afternoon; although he never sat the Pirates down in order. He gave up six hits, two walks, and two earned runs during his start.
The second inning is where the Bucs did all of their damage against Huddy. The inning started when, for the second time in as many days, Tyler Pastornicky was unable to grab a liner just over his head that seemed very catchable. After Michael McKenry was able to sneak a grounder through the middle, also out of the reach of Pastornicky, Kevin Correia bunted the duo of Pedro Alvarez and McKenry into scoring position. They were then driven in by a Tabata single down the first base line to put Pittsburgh up 2-0.
Freddie Freeman cut the lead in half in the next inning with a bases loaded sac fly after a long, impressive battle with Kevin Correia. Huddy came home from third on the play after having gotten on base after a bonehead drop by Andrew McCutchen in center field.
The Braves tied it up in the fourth inning when a walk to Dan Uggla set the table for a Pastornicky RBI double. The Rev stroked a 3-2 mistake pitch into the left-center field gap to knot it up at two runs apiece.
The Braves took the lead for good in the following inning. Kevin Correia wasn't able to command his pitches in the inning and following a Bourn single, walked three batters to bring home a run and give the Braves a 3-2 edge.
Martin Prado added some insurance by crushing a ball that went deep over the head of McCutchen. The insurance proved to be necessary in the ninth inning when Kimbrel came on to pitch. Jose Tabata doubled with one out and moved to third on a McCutchen bouncer back to the mound. In the next at-bat, Brian McCann seemed to be confused by a wild pitch that bounced off of the foot of Garret Jones. McCann thought that the pitch had been foul tipped and didn't really chase the ball down behind the plate with any real haste. Tabata came home to cut the lead to just one, but Kimbrel didn't waste any time in closing out the game afterwards, as the Braves finished on top by a score of 4-3.
This game wasn't a defensive gem, by any means, but the Braves did enough to notch one more in the win column and assure themselves of at least a split in the four game series. It also feels really good to have Hudson back and healthy.