Escobar leaves with elbow discomfort

ATLANTA (AP) -- Kelvim Escobar's continued elbow problems took some of the enjoyment out of the Los Angeles Angels' series win in Atlanta.

Escobar and Braves starter Tim Hudson each failed to last the fifth inning, but the Angels' bullpen didn't allow a hit in 4 2/3 shutout innings in an 8-4 win on Wednesday night.

The Braves have lost nine of 13 while dropping four straight series. They were without third baseman Chipper Jones, who is out with a foot injury, and lost catcher Johnny Estrada in Monday night's game.

"Right now they're a little banged up," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "They have a different look with Chipper not in there. I don't know if we saw the true Braves team."

The Angels also have an injury concern with Escobar, who is experiencing elbow pain for the third time in three months. He will have an MRI on his right elbow Thursday in New York.

"It feels like the same pain that I had three weeks ago," said Escobar, who has already been on the disabled list twice this season with elbow problems.

Hudson, slowed by cramping, left after facing two batters in the fifth inning.

"I was sweating like a maniac out there," Hudson said. "I just lost too much fluid."

Dallas McPherson matched his career high with three hits, including a tiebreaking two-run triple in the seventh inning, as the Angels won two of three against the Braves.

Brendan Donnelly earned the win in both victories in the series. Donnelly (4-1) pitched two perfect innings with two strikeouts as the second of four relievers to follow Escobar.

Escobar lasted only 4 1/3 innings, giving up four hits and four runs with two walks and two wild pitches.

Escobar said he hopes to find a better answer for his ongoing elbow soreness.

"I don't want to take a couple weeks off and come back the same," he said. "I just want to get healthy and pitch."

The Angels also had right fielder Jeff DaVanon leave the game with a fractured nose, suffered when Rafael Furcal's fourth-inning triple off the wall hit DaVanon in the face. DaVanon's status will be re-evaluated Thursday.

Braves left-handed reliever John Foster (1-1) gave up his first runs of the season in his 18th appearance to take the loss. He
entered in the seventh with the score tied at 4 and gave up three runs while retiring only one batter.

Foster walked Darin Erstad and gave up a single to Garret Anderson before McPherson's triple off the left field wall.

McPherson scored on Bengie Molina's fly ball to center to give the Angels a 7-4 lead.

The Angels added another run on Anderson's RBI single in the eighth off former closer Dan Kolb.

McPherson doubled and scored in the Angels' three-run second inning and reached on an infield hit in the third. Nine of his last 17 hits have been for extra bases. His last three-hit game came on Sept. 20 against Seattle.

Hudson lasted only four innings in his second-shortest start of the season.

Hudson -- who grew up in Phenix City, Ala., about two hours from Atlanta, before beginning his career in Oakland -- said Wednesday night was the first time this season he had pitched in humid conditions.

"I've been out west for six years," Hudson said. "I guess I turned into a sissy."

Hudson gave up six hits and four runs while walking three. He lasted only 3 2/3 innings at Colorado on May 9 in his shortest outing of the season.

Escobar needed only 31 pitches to retire the first nine batters and then threw 40 pitches as the Braves sent nine batters to the plate in their four-run fourth.

"I guess that's how my elbow got hurt, pitching like that," Escobar said.

Two wild pitches by Escobar and a throwing error by catcher Molina helped the Braves take a 4-3 lead. After Furcal's triple, Escobar hit Marcus Giles in the back with a pitch and threw a wild pitch that allowed Furcal to score. Giles then stole third and scored when McPherson couldn't handle Molina's throw.

Adam LaRoche hit a double and Andruw Jones walked before runners advanced on Escobar's second wild pitch of the inning. Ryan Langerhans drove in both runners with a double to center, giving the Braves the lead.

Steve Finley led off the fifth with a single off Hudson. After Finley stole second base, Anderson's sharp grounder skipped under LaRoche's glove at first base for an error, allowing Finley to score for a 4-all tie.

The Angels took a 3-0 lead in the second. McPherson led off with a double and scored on Adam Kennedy's single up the middle. Chone Figgins drove in two runs with a single.

Game notes
Braves rookie catcher Brayan Pena was off-target on his throws to second as Figgins collected steals in the first and second innings and McPherson stole second base in the third inning. .. Erstad stretched his hitting streak to 10 games with his eighth-inning single.