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Simmons homers as Hudson picks up third straight victory

Brian McCann and Andrelton Simmons homered while Tim Hudson won his third consecutive start as visiting Atlanta captured the opener of the three-game series in Chicago. Hudson (7-7) improved to 3-0 in July, throwing 65 of his 99 pitches for strikes while allowing four runs on eight hits in 7 1/3 innings. Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for his 27th save and Chris Johnson finished with three hits and an RBI for Atlanta. John Danks (2-7) surrendered five runs on seven hits in seven innings, dropping to 1-3 in his past five starts for the White Sox. Alexei Ramirez went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Alex Rios had two RBIs for the White Sox, who have lost eight of their last 11.

Simmons’ ninth homer of the season, a two-run shot to left field in the third, staked Atlanta to a 2-0 advantage. Rios’ two-run double to right-center in the third tied the contest, but McCann hit a three-run homer to put the Braves ahead 5-2.

Chicago pulled within a run in the eighth on Ramirez’s RBI double to left and a run-scoring bloop single to right by Jeff Keppinger, who finished with two hits.

Notes: Atlanta RF Justin Upton returned to the lineup after missing two games last weekend with a strained left calf and went 2-for-4. … Ramirez is hitting .343 over his last 32 games. … Johnson capped his eighth three-hit performance of the season with an RBI single in the ninth inning.