ATLANTA – Tim Hudson survived five tough innings to win in his return from offseason back surgery and the Atlanta Braves held on in the ninth to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 on Sunday.
Hudson (1-0) pitched in the majors for the first time since his operation last November to repair a herniated disc. The right-hander threw 96 pitches while giving up two runs on six hits and two walks. He allowed at least one baserunner in every inning.
The Pirates stranded 10 runners, including eight against Hudson.
Craig Kimbrel gave up one run in the ninth before earning his eighth save. Jose Tabata hit a one-out double, advanced to third on Andrew McCutchen's groundout and scored on Kimbrel's wild pitch. Kimbrel struck out Garrett Jones to end the game.
Martin Prado hit his second homer, connecting off Brad Lincoln in the seventh. Michael Bourn had three hits and a walk for the Braves.
Tabata had three hits, including a two-run single.
Kevin Correia (1-1) gave up two earned runs on four hits and five walks in 4 1-3 innings. He walked three batters in the fifth, including a bases-loaded pass to Dan Uggla that snapped a 2-all tie.
The Pirates loaded the bases in the second on singles by Pedro Alvarez and Michael McKenry and a walk to Alex Presley. Tabata drove in two runs with a single down the right-field line.
The Braves scored an unearned run in the third. With one out, McCutchen dropped Hudson's fly ball to center field for an error. After Bourn walked, Alvarez bobbled Prado's grounder at third base for another error. Hudson scored on Freddie Freeman's sacrifice fly, cutting the Pirates' lead to 2-1.
Tyler Pastornicky's double to left-center off Correia in the fourth drove in Uggla, who walked.
Jonny Venters, Atlanta's third reliever, ended the eighth by striking out Josh Harrison with two runners on.
NOTES: Presley was 0 for 4 as his 12-game hitting streak ended. ... The Pirates ended their streak of seven straight wins when scoring more than one run. ... Braves C Brian McCann returned after missing only one game with a strained muscle in his right side. ... The five walks were one below Correia's career high. ... Braves LHP Mike Minor will look for his third win when he faces James McDonald in Monday night's final game of the four-game series. The Braves, who have won two of the first three, will try to win their sixth straight series since losing three straight at the Mets to open the season.