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Sports

Braves beat Nats

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 06:31 AM
ATLANTA -

Stephen Strasburg's fifth big-league start was by far his toughest.

The Atlanta Braves scored four runs in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals' star rookie, and Tim Hudson threw seven scoreless innings in a 5-0 victory Monday night.

Strasburg had no help from his offense in this one as he gave up six hits and four runs, including three earned, in 61/3 innings. The Nationals have scored one run in Strasburg's last three starts.

His previous high for runs allowed was two in his debut, a 5-2 win over Pittsburgh on June 8.

He struck out seven, leaving him two shy of matching Herb Score's record of 50 in his first five starts. Strasburg has two losses and a no-decision after winning his first two starts.

Hudson gave up only five hits for the NL East-leading Braves, who drew 42,889, their second-largest crowd of the season. The total included 9,601 walk-up sales Monday and 21,608 tickets sold since Strasburg's last start Wednesday, according to the Braves.

Strasburg struck out only one of Atlanta's first 12 batters but six of the next seven, including five straight in the fifth and sixth innings.

The Nationals threatened in the seventh when Roger Bernadina hit a double to left and moved to third on Ian Desmond's sacrifice. Hudson struck out Alberto Gonzalez and ended the inning on Strasburg's groundout.

The Braves then broke through in the bottom of the inning.

Strasburg walked Chipper Jones on four pitches to open the seventh. Brian McCann followed with a single and Desmond bobbled a grounder by Troy Glaus for an error to load the bases. Jones scored on Eric Hinske's fly ball to center. Yunel Escobar knocked Strasburg out of the game with a sharply hit single to left, driving in McCann for a 2-0 lead.

Gregor Blanco reached on a run-scoring bunt single that Strasburg's replacement, Sean Burnett, couldn't handle.

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