The Atlanta Braves hope another extra day of rest will help Tim
Hudson’s ailing neck. The right-hander hopes it will help him end
the longest winless streak of his career.
The Braves will try to avoid matching their worst losing streak
of the season Saturday night against the host Philadelphia
Hudson (4-7, 4.22 ERA) was slated to start the series opener
Friday, but was moved back a day after being treated for a stiff
neck earlier this week.
“I’m fine,” said Hudson, who will be pitching on six days’ rest.
“This time of year when you get an extra day, it’s not a big deal.
It can only be a good thing.”
The right-hander’s most recent start, however, also came on six
days’ rest and the results weren’t favorable. Hudson’s winless
streak reached 10 in an 11-5 win over Arizona last Saturday after
he allowed four runs in 5 2-3 innings.
The four runs of support he received were the most during his
winless stretch, as Hudson got a total of 10 runs in the previous
He started opening day against the Phillies on April 1 and gave
up three runs in 4 1-3 innings of a 7-5 victory.
The veteran has struggled on the road, going 1-7 with a 5.71 ERA
in nine outings on the season. However, he’s pitched at least seven
innings in two of his last three starts in Philadelphia, allowing
no earned runs in both.
Hudson will be trying to end a three-game skid for Atlanta
(49-37) after Paul Maholm – who swapped starts with Hudson – took
the loss in a 5-4 defeat Friday. The Braves have lost a season-high
four straight twice.
Philadelphia would certainly like to keep that slide going as it
looks to get back into the NL East race and try to cut down the
still-sizable deficit to Atlanta.
”The only way to definitely gain ground on teams ahead of you
is to beat them,” left-hander Cliff Lee said. ”We have to win
this series and as many games as we can heading into the All-Star
Kyle Kendrick (7-5, 3.59) will take the mound for Philadelphia
(42-45). He’s 1-1 with a 2.91 ERA in 19 career games – 13 starts –
Braves left fielder Justin Upton had one extra-base hit in his
last seven games before going 2 for 4 with a double Friday. He went
4 for 4 with two homers off Kendrick last year.
The Phillies’ Ben Revere went 2 for 4 on Friday and has gone 15
for 33 in his last eight contests.
Ryan Howard, who hit his 11th home run Friday, is tied with Jose
Reyes for the second-most hits against Hudson, going 22 for 67
(.328) with seven homers.