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SD@ATL: Layne strikes out the side in his MLB debut

ATLANTA -- There wasn't much sense in Bud Black deliberating the shortcomings of his starting pitcher on Tuesday or bemoaning the lack of offensive punch from the Padres' lineup.

When you really boil things down, the Braves' 6-0 victory over the Padres before a crowd of 16,427 at Turner Field essentially came down to one factor and one only, said Black.

"Tonight was about Tim Hudson," he said.

Hudson allowed two hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings and his bullpen took care of the rest as the Braves rolled past the Padres.

"I saw him early in his Oakland A's days and that's [Tuesday] as good as I've seen him," said Black, who saw a lot of Hudson during his days as pitching coach of the Angels. "The fastball had sink to both sides of the plate. He had the backdoor slider going. He was hitting his corners and changing speeds."

After a two-out walk to Chase Headley in the first, Hudson retired 10 straight hitters before Mark Kotsay slapped an opposite-field single into left field to start the fifth inning. Then, in what might have amounted to their biggest threat of the night, the next two hitters -- Will Venable and Cameron Maybin -- lined out to infielders before Hudson got catcher John Baker on a comebacker to end the inning.

"That was sort of our inning," Black said.

San Diego starter Clayton Richard, coming off a shutout of the Cubs last week, allowed five runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. He had one strikeout and got 11 ground-ball outs. But two of the runs that he was charged with came when Martin Prado hit a three-run home run off reliever Brad Boxberger in the seventh inning.

"That was a tough one," Richard said.

Black felt Richard threw better than his final line and that many of the nine hits he allowed were on balls that snuck through what's regarded as a very fast infield.

Richard allowed a leadoff triple to Michael Bourn in the first inning and he later scored on a Freddie Freeman ground-ball out. In the fifth inning, Richard tried to bury a fastball low and away to Dan Uggla, but the ball hung out over the plate and Uggla hit it into the left-field seats.

"Richard's a tough guy over there. He's having a pretty good year himself," Hudson said. "For a long time I thought it was going to be a one-knock game until pretty late. We were able to get some crooked numbers later on in the game. Those were huge for us."

All told, the Padres finished with five hits, four in the last three innings. Yonder Alonso had two hits to bring his total to six hits on this trip; he's hitting .276 this season.

"It's tough when you don't score," Black said.

The night wasn't a complete loss as 27-year-old rookie pitcher Tom Layne, who was promoted earlier in the day from Double-A San Antonio, made a big splash in his Major League debut.

Layne, a left-hander, struck out Brian McCann looking to start the eighth inning and then did the exact same thing to Uggla. Then Layne got pinch-hitter Tyler Pastornicky to chase a 77-mph cutter to end the inning.

By the time Layne reached the top step of the visiting dugout, he couldn't contain his smile. It was all a little tough to comprehend -- on Monday he was pitching for San Antonio, on Tuesday he was striking out All-Stars in a Major League game.

"How about that? A guy out of nowhere," Black said. "Good for him."

Layne admitted to some trepidation making his way from the bullpen to the mound to start the eighth inning, but he was able to rein in his emotions pretty quickly.

"I had a lot of fun. It was cool," he said afterward. "I never thought it was going to happen. And to be honest, I don't know if I've ever struck out the side."

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