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Brooks Was Here: Home Run Helps Braves Beat Dodgers

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Tim Hudson continued his masterful work of late, tossing eight scoreless innings, as the Atlanta Braves edged Los Angeles, 1-0, in the opener of a four-game series at Turner Field.

Hudson's (14-5) line of eight shutout frames, three hits, one walk and six strikeouts mirrored his last outing against San Francisco. The sizzling right-hander has won each of his last five starts, allowing just two runs over 36 2/3 innings, and is making a strong bid as a Cy Young candidate.

Brooks Conrad's home run off Los Angeles starter Hiroki Kuroda (8-11) with one out in the seventh accounted for all the game's scoring. Conrad went deep for the second time in three games since replacing Chipper Jones at third base, including Tuesday when Jones tore the ACL in his left knee in Atlanta's 4-2 win against Houston.

The Braves, who are a major league best 40-15 at home this season, widened their lead in the NL East standings over Philadelphia to three games after the Phillies were one-hit by the Mets' R.A. Dickey on Friday.

Kuroda gave up four hits and walked two in seven innings for the Dodgers, who were coming off Thursday's deflating 10-9 loss to Philadelphia in which the Phillies erased a seven-run deficit by scoring four runs in both the eighth and ninth innings.

Atlanta closer Billy Wagner, who got the win on Wednesday despite recording his seventh blown save of the year, gave up a single to Scott Podsednik to begin the ninth. One out later, Wagner picked off Podsednik with Andre Ethier batting. Ethier then went down swinging to end the game as Wagner nailed down his 29th save.

Hudson lowered his earned run average to 2.13 and improved his home record to 9-3 in 12 starts...Rookie right fielder Jason Heyward returned to the Braves lineup Friday after missing two games with a sore right knee...Atlanta's Omar Infante and Podsednik each had two hits...Podsednik has hit safely in 10 straight games...The Braves opened a seven-game homestand...The Dodgers have dropped 12 of 14 on the road...Kuroda has lost three straight and six of his last seven decisions.