The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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April 19, 2013

Rodriguez dominant in Pirates’ win

PITTSBURGH — Wandy Rodriguez faced the minimum while throwing seven innings of one-hit ball to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Atlanta Braves 6-0 on Friday.

Atlanta’s Tim Hudson came up short in his first attempt at win No. 200.

Pedro Alvarez homered for the second consecutive game and Russell Martin, Neil Walker and Travis Snider each reached base three times for Pittsburgh, which has won seven of its past 10 after a 1-5 start.

A strained hamstring caused Rodriguez to miss his last scheduled start, but that did not affect his performance. Rodriguez (2-0) allowed only Jason Heyward’s one-out single in the fourth. Justin Upton followed by grounding into a double play.

Rodriguez struck out five without a walk.

Mark Melancon pitched a perfect eighth and Vin Mazzaro allowed Andrelton Simmons’ leadoff single in the ninth before finishing off the shutout, Pittsburgh’s third this season.

The Braves (13-3) have not scored in any of their losses this season.

Hudson (2-1) fell to 199-105 in his 15-year career and 6-6 against the Pirates. His next victory will allow him to join Andy Pettitte and Roy Halladay as the only active 200-game winners.

It was apparent Hudson did not have his best stuff right from the start. He was tagged for five extra-base hits in the first two innings, and two other Pirates outs in that span were hard-hit lineouts.

The notoriously streaky Alvarez went homerless in his first 14 games before taking Julio Teheran deep in the series opener Thursday. Friday’s second-inning shot with Neil Walker aboard cleared the section of seats that sit above the 21-foot wall in right field.

Later in the inning, Jose Tabata doubled in Russell Martin.

Hudson was chased after allowing the first four batters of the fifth inning to reach. The final hitter he faced, Garrett Jones, lined a single down the left-field line with the bases loaded, driving in Tabata and Snider. Snider went 2-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to seven games.

Notes: Braves outfielder B.J. Upton was ejected by home plate umpire Sam Holbrook after a called third strike call in the seventh inning. ... Atlanta is 13-0 when it hits a home run and 0-3 when it does not. ... Braves LHP Luis Avilan threw a bullpen session Friday afternoon after not pitching since sustaining a left hamstring injury Tuesday. He remains day-to-day. ... The Pirates will donate the proceeds from today’s in-park 50/50 raffle to OneFundBoston.org. ... Former Pirates starter Paul Maholm will face Pittsburgh today for the fourth time since leaving as a free agent after the 2011 season. His 2.35 ERA since last season’s all-star break is the sixth best in the majors.

His opponent will be RHP James McDonald, who allowed eight runs on eight hits in his previous outing Monday.

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