The Associated Press. Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson delivers against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday in Washington.
WASHINGTON -- Rookie Jason Heyward gave Atlanta its first steal of home in a decade, and Tim Hudson shut down Washington the way he almost always does, helping the NL East-leading Braves beat the last-place Nationals 3-1 Wednesday night.
Hudson (11-5) allowed one run in 72/3 innings, improving to 10-1 with a 1.49 ERA for his career against the Nationals franchise.
Livan Hernandez (7-7) gave up three runs in 41/3 innings, his shortest outing of 2010.
Chipper Jones drove in two runs, and Martin Prado had three hits for Atlanta, which had lost four of its previous six games. The Braves were shut out by the Nationals on Tuesday, when reliever Miguel Batista went five innings as a last-minute replacement for Stephen Strasburg, whose pitching shoulder felt stiff.
Already leading Wednesday on Jones' sacrifice fly in the first inning, the Braves went ahead 2-0 on Heyward's rare dash home while Brian McCann was caught in a rundown.
With one out and runners at the corners, Hernandez struck out Eric Hinske. McCann broke for second base, and Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez's throw easily beat him to the bag. So McCann changed direction and headed back to first, winding up in a rundown.
That's when Heyward made his play, drawing a throw to the plate from first baseman Adam Dunn. Heyward was safe, while McCann took second for a double steal.
The last Braves player to steal home was Rafael Furcal on April 9, 2000, against San Francisco.
Atlanta made it 3-0 in the fifth when Prado doubled, and Jones hit an RBI single.
That was plenty for Hudson, who gave up seven hits, tied a season high with seven strikeouts and walked one -- his final batter, Ryan Zimmerman, with two outs in the eighth.
Jonny Venters entered to face cleanup hitter Dunn and struck him out swinging to end the inning. Dunn chucked his bat.
Billy Wagner pitched a perfect ninth for his 23rd save in 28 chances.
Washington's run came in the fifth, when Rodriguez doubled and came home on Michael Morse's single.
Notes: Strasburg did not throw at all Wednesday and is expected to be shut down for at least two days. ... Nationals LHP Scott Olsen is slated to come off the 15-day disabled list and start against Atlanta today. Olsen went on the DL on May 22 with an injured left shoulder. RHP Craig Stammen will start Friday, and LHP Ross Detwiler on Saturday. ... Washington OF Josh Willingham, 1 for 20 against Hudson, was out of the starting lineup; he flied out to center as a pinch hitter for the game's final out. ... Atlanta SS Alex Gonzalez dropped to 4 for 43 against Hernandez by going hitless in two at-bats Wednesday. ... Venters is still awaiting a ruling from Major League Baseball on his appeal of a four-game suspension for throwing at Milwaukee's Prince Fielder. A hearing was held in Washington on Tuesday.