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Battle Of N.L.'s Best: Braves Shutout Padres Behind Tim Hudson's Seven Strong

For more, check out our Braves blog, Talking Chop, and our Padres blog, Gaslamp Ball.

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Tim Hudson tossed seven strong innings and Alex Gonzalez continued to swing a hot bat with a four-hit, two-RBI afternoon, as the Braves blanked San Diego, 8-0, to conclude a three-game set at Turner Field.

Hudson (10-5) shut down the Padres to the tune of four hits and one walk while fanning four. He moved to 5-0 in nine career appearances (eight starts) versus San Diego in bouncing back from his worst start of the season.

Gonzalez, meanwhile, has hit safely in six of his seven games since coming to Atlanta in a trade with Toronto and made a pair of defensive gems behind Hudson Thursday, as the Braves took two of three in the series.

Jayson Heyward chipped in two hits and two RBI, while Chipper Jones went 3- for-5 with a run batted in.

San Diego's Clayton Richard (7-5) was tagged for nine hits and four runs (three earned) in six innings for the Padres, who were coming off Wednesday's come-from-behind 6-4 triumph in 12 innings.

Atlanta got to Richard for four runs over the first three innings to give Hudson a comfortable lead.

A leadoff walk in the first by Martin Prado and Jones' single left runners at the corners, and Troy Glaus scored the game's first run with a sacrifice fly. An error on Will Venable put another runner in scoring position, and Gonzalez singled to make it 2-0 after one inning.

Melky Cabrera led off the second with a double and later scored on Heyward's two-out single, and Gonzalez doubled home Matt Diaz an inning later for the four-run difference.

"Definitely the first few innings I threw a lot more balls than I wanted to," said Richard. "When you're pounding the strike zone, good things usually happen. When you don't it's usually the opposite. That was the case the first three innings today."

San Diego stranded a runner at second in the third and third in the fifth before the Braves doubled their lead in the seventh off Ryan Webb.

Diaz walked and Gonzalez reached on a single before David Ross smacked a run- scoring double. Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Eric Hinske was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Heyward and Jones later came through with back-to-back hits with the bases still full to grab an 8-0 lead.

"It was hot out there today, but it's a lot nicer when you're able to put some runs up early and get in a little bit of a groove," Hudson said. "It's a good day, a huge win for us after losing a tough one last night."

Michael Dunn suffered with control problems after taking over for Atlanta in the bottom half and was lifted with one out having walked the bases loaded. Peter Moylan got Nick Hundley to hit into a double play to quash San Diego's best scoring chance of the game.

Hudson has a team-leading 16 quality starts and came in tied for fourth in the majors in the category. The right-hander was reached for a season-high six earned runs in a 6-3 loss to the Braves his last time out. It marked the most runs he's allowed since a June 28, 2008 start at Toronto...The Hinske hit-by- pitch required X-rays on his left foot, which were negative. He's considered day-to-day...Gonzalez tied a career high with the four hits, doing so for the eighth time...The Braves won the season series, 4-2. Atlanta has won 16 of its last 21 series overall...The Padres managed just four singles and stranded seven.