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Braves top Dodgers on Conrad's homer

ATLANTA -- Tim Hudson extended his dominant stretch of starts with three-hit ball for eight innings and Brooks Conrad homered in the seventh to lift the Atlanta Braves to a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.

Hudson (14-5) has won five straight starts and has yielded only two runs in the impressive period.

Billy Wagner, who blew his seventh save against Houston on Wednesday, allowed a single to Scott Podsednik leading off the ninth. With one out, Podsednik was caught stealing before Wagner struck out Andre Ethier to earn his 29th save.

In the Braves' first game since learning Chipper Jones would be lost for the season with a knee injury, Conrad made the first bid to fill the void.

Los Angeles right-hander Hiroki Kuroda gave up only three hits before Conrad's 406-foot homer to center field with one out in the seventh. It was the second key homer in three games for Conrad, whose two-run homer in the ninth gave the Braves the lead in Tuesday's 4-2 win at Houston.

Kuroda (8-11) gave up four hits and one run in seven innings. He had three strikeouts with two walks, one intentional.

Hudson is tied for third in the NL in wins. He lowered his ERA to 2.13, also third in the league.

Hudson struck out the side in the fifth and retired 13 consecutive Dodgers before giving up a single to Podsednik with two outs in the sixth. Podsednik led off the game with a walk and moved to second on Ryan Theriot's groundout. Hudson did not allow another baserunner to reach second.

Jonathan Broxton, who was removed from his role as the Dodgers' closer on Friday, gave up one hit in a scoreless eighth inning.

Notes: Manager Joe Torre said SS Rafael Furcal (back) is unlikely to be activated when eligible to come off the disabled list on Wednesday. Furcal still has soreness in his back. ... Torre said OF Manny Ramirez, who has been out since July 17 with a right calf strain, could be ready for a rehab assignment by the middle of next week. ... Braves LHP Eric O'Flaherty (mononucleosis) gave up one hit in one scoreless inning in his first of at least two rehab appearances with Triple-A Gwinnett. ... The Braves recalled INF Brandon Hicks from Triple-A Gwinnett to fill 3B Chipper Jones' roster spot after Jones was placed on the disabled list with a season-ending knee injury. Jones, who will have surgery today, said Friday he plans to attempt a comeback next season. He was in uniform as he watched the game from the Braves' dugout. ... Podsednik has a 10-game hitting streak.