Braves-Phillies Preview

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

Phillies.

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

nine outings.

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

break.”

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 –

against Atlanta.

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.