Braves ace Tim Hudson walks off the mound after being pulled during Wednesday’s loss, ending a streak of impressive starts against Arizona.
PHOENIX — Eric Chavez calls Tim Hudson one of his best friends in baseball after the great seasons they spent in Oakland, but that did not keep Chavez from doing what had to be done Wednesday.
Chavez had two hits and three RBIs as Arizona beat Atlanta 5-3, the Diamondbacks’ first victory against Hudson in 10 starts, and perhaps not so coincidentally, the first game with Chavez on their side.
“I love ‘Huddy’ like a brother. It was good to do battle with him,” Chavez said.
Chavez’s two-out, two-run double to the opposite field in left-center field keyed a four-run fifth inning for a 5-3 edge.
“He was throwing me a lot of sliders today. I’m not really sure why. It was a pretty good pitch, it was down and away, I think where he wanted it. I’ve been hitting the ball the other way all year, so I kind of tried to stay with that approach,” Chavez said.
Hudson was 7-0 with a 1.33 ERA in nine previous starts against the D-backs, and had held them to two runs in the 38 innings dating to 2006.
“When I got in trouble I got in trouble with some off-speed stuff. It’s frustrating. I thought I made some good pitches to Chavez, especially the last one, a backdoor cutter. But he stayed with it and hit it the other way,” Hudson said.
Chavez, a free agent signee over the winter, also singled in a run in the first inning. His 16 RBIs are second on the team.
“He had a great day for us. After the first hit, I thought they might pitch around him a little bit. He knows the pitcher well,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.
Didi Gregorius singled in the first run in the fifth inning and Cody Ross singled in the final run as the D-backs (23-18) overcame a 3-1 deficit built on three Freddie Freeman RBIs.
Freeman walked with the bases loaded with two outs in the third and doubled in two runs with two outs in the fifth off Kennedy (2-3). He also doubled in the ninth, tying a career high with three hits, but Heath Bell pitched around that for his sixth save, his fifth in the last nine days.
“We got the lead and we just didn’t get the shutdown inning. We let a bunch of guys on base with the right guys at the plate, and they hit the ball well,” Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Jordan Schafer and Ramiro Pena had two hits apiece for Atlanta (22-18), which lost five of the final six games on the Western swing that included a four-game series in San Francisco last weekend.
“For just losing two out of three, you feel like we won a couple of those games the way we hit the ball. It’s just the way it goes sometimes,” Gonzalez said.
Kennedy gave up five hits and three walks in five innings and was the beneficiary of the D-back’ big fifth inning, winning his first game since he went seven innings in a 6-2 victory over St. Louis on April 1. He struck out seven.
“It doesn’t come easy. It wasn’t my best outing. You’ll take every single one of these wins. This is a team win,” said Kennedy, who has a 4.88 ERA.
“You want to throw deeper in the game to save the bullpen a little bit, but the bullpen picked me up.”
Paul Goldschmidt had his first career three-double game, scoring in the first inning. He has 11 doubles and 10 home runs, the first National League player to reach double-figures in both categories. Baltimore’s Chris Davis and the New York Yankees’ Robinson Cano have done it in the American League.
Jason Kubel walked with one out in the Arizona fifth and took second on an infield single by Gerardo Parra, a ball on which shortstop Andrelton Simmons made a diving stop but could not make a throw.
Gregorius singled to center to make it 3-2, and after Hudson stuck out Goldschmidt, Chavez doubled for a 4-3 lead. Ross single to right to make it 5-3.
NOTES: Atlanta CF B.J. Upton was 0-for-5 in his return to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with shoulder stiffness. He was removed in the seventh inning Monday after being struck in the left shoulder by a Wade Miley pitch. He is hitting .145 this season. … Chavez has hit safely in six of his last seven games, going 9-for-19. … Atlanta 3B Juan Francisco struck out four times, the first two on neck-level fastballs from Kennedy, and has 37 strikeouts in 89 at-bats this season. He is hitting .258.