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ARI@ATL: Hudson hurls seven scoreless for 13th win

Atlanta's general manager, Frank Wren, is pleased with his team's effort entering the final month of the season.

He's just not completely satisfied, because he believes there is still work to be done.

"We like our team," Wren said. "We know we have to step it up."

Wren is doing his part. On Wednesday the National League Wild Card leaders acquired outfielder Matt Diaz from the Pirates and infielder Jack Wilson from Seattle.

On Thursday, Wren's club will send veteran Tim Hudson to the mound against the Nationals and Chien-Ming Wang.

In his most recent start, against the Mets, Hudson surrendered a season-high 11 hits in his worst start since June. He is 12-3 with a 1.97 ERA in 21 starts against the Nationals. Two of those losses have come within his past four starts against them.

"I felt good against the Mets," Hudson said. "It was just one of those nights when I didn't have my best location, and they took advantage. You're going to have those kinds of starts from time to time."

Wang fired six strong innings in a no-decision on Friday, holding the Reds to a pair of runs (one earned) on six hits and four walks while fanning two.

"I can throw the ball more easily. The shoulder feels better," Wang said. "The biggest problem is the release point. I think I can get a good release point."

Nationals: Espinosa a raking rookie
• Danny Espinosa leads all National League rookies in homers with 19. Eleven of those have come with at least one runner on base.

Espinosa is one homer away from tying the franchise record for rookies, held by Brad Wilkerson (Expos, 2002) and Ryan Zimmerman (2005).

• The Nationals are 4-4 at Turner Field this season. They are 17-18 in Atlanta since the beginning of the 2008 season.

Braves: Sherrill put on the shelf
• Manager Fredi Gonzalez had been giving George Sherrill a few days off between appearances in an attempt to alleviate some of the inflammation in his reliever's left elbow, but the club decided to put Sherrill on the disabled list on Wednesday.

The club hopes to save Sherrill for late September.

"Today's not as important as being ready later," Wren said. "He just needs to rest it and get over it so we can have him in the second half of September and, hopefully, the postseason."

• Closer Craig Kimbrel picked up his 41st save of the season on Wednesday to break the Major League record for rookies. Rangers closer Neftali Feliz set the record last season.

Worth noting
• The Braves are 26-17 since the All-Star break.

• Atlanta prospect Anthony Varvaro, a right-handed reliever, is expected to be among the first group of club's Minor League players to get promoted when the rosters expand on Thursday.

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