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Heyward, Glaus help Hudson, Braves beat Rays

ATLANTA -- Jason Heyward homered and Troy Glaus drove in two runs to back seven strong innings by Tim Hudson in the Atlanta Braves' 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night.

The Braves took two of three games in an interleague matchup of division leaders. They've won four of five overall and 11 of 12 at home to improve to 21-7 at Turner Field.

Tampa Bay's two-game slide dropped the Rays to 9-13 since May 23.

Hudson (7-2) lowered his ERA nine points to 2.34 after allowing four hits, one run and four walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander improved to 113-21 in his career when pitching at least seven innings.

Glaus, whose 53 RBIs include 27 with two outs, gave the Braves their first lead at 3-1 with a two-run double in the sixth.

Atlanta improved to 9-0-3 in its last 12 series. The Braves were 13-18 after losing May 9 at Philadelphia, but are 26-10 since.

In 11 career starts against Tampa Bay, Hudson is 7-1 with a 2.71 ERA.

Hudson stranded two runners in the fifth by retiring rookie Reid Brignac on a comebacker. Hudson escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh following a mound visit by manager Bobby Cox when pinch-hitter Willy Aybar grounded out.

Jonny Venters stranded one runner in the eighth before closer Billy Wagner earned his 11th save in 13 chances with a perfect ninth.

Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Carl Crawford walked, moved to second on Evan Longoria's groundout and scored on Carlos Pena's RBI single.

Heyward's 11th homer, a solo shot to right-center, tied it in the fourth.

Atlanta took a 3-1 lead in the sixth. Following singles by Hudson and Martin Prado and an intentional walk to Brian McCann that loaded the bases, Glaus lofted a double just beyond the reach of a diving Ben Zobrist in short right field.

James Shields (5-6) lost his career-worst fifth straight start. Making first appearance against Atlanta, the right-hander allowed three runs, five hits and one walk with three strikeouts in six innings.

Shields, who has given up five homers in his last four starts, has a 7.58 ERA during his losing streak.

Grant Balfour pitched the seventh and Joaquin Benoit the eighth for the Rays.

B.J. Upton was 1 for 12 in the series with eight strikeouts. He also was picked off at first by Hudson in the second.

The game started 26 minutes late because of a rain delay.

Notes: Glaus made a backhand grab of Zobrist's hard grounder in the second to begin a 3-6-3 double play. ... The Braves have beaten Tampa Bay in six of seven series and are 15-6 against the Rays since interleague play began.