Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 6/12/13
Here are three things we learned from the Braves' 3-2 defeat to the Padres on Tuesday, clinching a losing mark for Atlanta's final West Coast trip of the regular season: 1. Tim Hudson held up his end of the bargain in SoCal even if it meant back-to-back losses against the Dodgers and Padres For the trip out West, Hudson allowed four earned runs and nine hits over 14.1 innings, while fanning 12 and just walking just one. He also posted two streaks of 10 or more consecutive batters retired a indicating some early struggles ... followed by runs of middle-inning domination. Against San Diego, Hudson surrendered a first-inning homer to Chase Headley that, frankly, would have been an out or long base hit last year ... before the PETCO Park fences had been moved in. (Note: This marked Headley's first extra-base hit in 51 at-bats.) In the 2nd, Nick Hundley's seeing-eye RBI double a ball that escaped the reach of three fielders, including a sliding Justin Upton serves as a perfect example to Hudson's hard-luck night. To the naked eye, it looked like a foul ball immediately on contact. Instead, Hundley's hit ended up the game-winner and the impetus of a potential sweep for the Padres (31-34), who'll start Edinson Volquez on Wednesday. Meanwhile, for the month of June (three outings), Hudson has a cumulative ERA of 1.70 and 16 strikeouts ... and yet, zero wins to show for it. 2. The Braves bats were nothing, if not consistent against the Padres On the positive side, Atlanta racked up three hits apiece all singles for the first and sixth innings, while scoring one run each. On the negative end, the Braves didn't register a single hit in the other seven stanzas, which included the side striking out meekly in the 9th (Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, Dan Uggla). Put it all together, and you have a loss where the Braves might have been lucky to score twice. Simply put, there weren't too many runners to strand on the base paths (eight). Starting pitcher Andrew Cashner, the Padres' key component to the Anthony Rizzo trade from January 2012 (Cubs), tallied a career-high eight innings for San Diego, striking out five and walking just one (B.J. Upton). Of equal importance, Cashner likely felt no extra pressure from Atlanta's 6-7-8-9 hitters (Uggla, B.J. Upton, Ramiro Pena and Tim Hudson), who were 0 for 11 on the night. In fact, Uggla ended both scoring rallies (1st and 6th) with incidental putouts. "Cashner throws 95, 96 and has a changeup that he can throw whenever he wants," Freeman (1 for 4 with one RBI) told The Associated Press after the game. "We got him there on the ropes in the sixth, but I grounded into double play and killed a rally. You have to take advantage of that and I didn't do it." 3. From a pride standpoint, Wednesday's series finale is a big one for Atlanta The Braves (39-26) are tied with the Reds for Major League Baseball's third-best overall record (behind the Red Sox and Cardinals), a badge of honor that, at this point of the season, might be on par with the following factoid: Only Texas and St. Louis have incurred fewer series sweeps than Atlanta, which has just one sustained blemish in 2013 getting swept by Detroit in late April. (For what it's worth, the Braves have already swept six foes this year). Heading into June 12 action, the Braves, Diamondbacks, Reds, Red Sox, Rockies and Yankees have only been on the business end of one sweep this season; but that could change if the Padres can pull out a Wednesday win ... and their third home sweep overall.
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