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Dodgers pull away late
BRAVES 3 col col
Los Angeles Dodgers pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit watches his solo home run along with Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann during the eighth inning Saturday in Atlanta. - photo by Associated Press
    ATLANTA — Derek Lowe outpitched Tim Hudson, giving up three hits and an unearned run in seven innings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-3 on Saturday night in a matchup of first-place teams.
    Lowe (3-3) had eight strikeouts and walked two batters. After giving up a leadoff double to Willie Harris in the fifth, Lowe retired the last nine batters he faced.
    Hudson (3-1) also pitched well while taking his first loss in eight career starts against the Dodgers. Hudson, who had been 5-0 against Los Angeles, gave up seven hits and three runs in eight innings.
    Wilson Betemit, normally the Dodgers’ starting third baseman, hit a pinch-hit homer off Hudson in the eighth. Betemit, the former Brave, was hitting only .125 with no homers when he was benched by manager Grady Little.
    Betemit batted for Lowe in the eighth inning and hit his first homer to right field for a 3-1 lead.
    Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton gave up an eighth-inning walk to Kelly Johnson and a single to Edgar Renteria to put runners on first and third with one out. Broxton struck out Chipper Jones and got Andruw Jones to ground out to end the threat.
    The Dodgers added three runs off Tyler Yates in the ninth.
    Yates walked Jeff Kent and gave up a single to Luis Gonzalez. Pinch-runner Brady Clark scored on Russell Martin’s single to left. Andre Ethier and Ramon Martinez added run-scoring singles off Steve Colyer.
    The Braves loaded the bases against Joe Beimel in the ninth. Scott Thorman doubled with two outs, pinch-hitter Matt Diaz had an infield single and pinch-hitter Craig Wilson walked.
    Takashi Saito gave up a two-run single to Johnson and then got Renteria to ground out for his ninth save.
    Harris, called up from Triple A Richmond last Sunday, had two hits, including a third-inning single. Harris stole second and third and scored to give the Braves a 1-0 lead when second baseman Jeff Kent bobbled Chipper Jones’ grounder for an error.
    The Dodgers opened the fourth inning with three straight hits. After singles by Rafael Furcal and Juan Pierre, Furcal scored on Nomar Garciaparra’s single to left. Pierre later scored from third on a grounder by Luis Gonzalez for a 2-1 lead.
    Hudson has lasted at least seven innings in each of his first six starts and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any start.
Notes: The Dodgers moved to 15-0 when leading after six innings. ... Edgar Renteria’s eighth-inning single off Broxton extended his hitting streak to 14 games. ... The homer by Betemit was the first allowed by Hudson in 44 1-3 innings.