The Braves waited. And waited. And waited. 

Finally, behind a dominating pitching performance from Tim Hudson, the Brave lineup broke through.

The Braves scored twice in the top of the fifth and seventh innings before breaking through for six in the top of the seventh to snag the series win over Washington in an 11-2 victory.

Hudson threw seven strong, using his wide array of nasty pitches to retire the final 17 batters he faced before his day ended after Eric Hinske’s pinch hit for him in the seventh inning.

 

The veteran finished the day allowing three hits to an improved Nationals lineup, giving up one run and walking one while fanning five.

To add to his impressive first start of the season, Hudson came up with one out in the top of the fifth, walked, and came around to score on Martin Prado’s double to right.

It was the way Hudson scored, sliding head first into home, scoring the 3rd and decisive run, that caused laughter and anxiety to simultaneously hit Braves fans everywhere. 

Sunday was the day the Braves offense finally broke out, after scoring just five runs in the first two games of the season.

The first seven hitters in the order recorded at least one hit, with Prado and Brian McCann notching three and Jason Heyward recording two of his own.

Even though Freddie Freeman did not record a hit, he drove in two runs of his own.

Now, after an impressive series finale in Washington, the Braves head to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers for the first four-game set of the season.

In the opener, Brandon Beachy will make his first start of the new season, as the Brewers will send Chris Narvenson to the mound, looking to get Milwaukee it’s first win.

 

The Brewers scored 11 runs in the first three games against Cincinnati, but were unable to quiet the Reds bats.

Even though the Brewers have lost three straight to open the season, they still possess an impressive middle of the lineup in Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.

 

In game two, Fredi Gonzalez will send Derek Lowe to the mound. In his Opening Day start last Thursday, Lowe threw 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball, earning the win.

Game three will feature Mike Minor, filling in for the disabled Jair Jurrjens. The Brewers have not decided who will oppose Minor.

In game four, Tommy Hanson will look to bounce back after a rough first start Saturday afternoon.

 

Hanson gave up four runs on five hits in just 3 2/3 innings. His start was stopped short after a hail storm in Washington, D.C., ended his afternoon.

The big key for the Braves will be to make the starting pitcher work by getting his pitch count high to crack the Brewers lackluster bullpen.

The Braves will try to do just that over the next four days in Milwaukee.

--Notes: Chipper Jones is 5 hits away from 2,500; Tim Hudson is now 132-2 when given a three-run lead; Jair Jurrjens is scheduled to throw a simulated game at Gwinnett before a decision is made on when he will be ready.