Lefty Clayton Richard can get to double-digit wins for the second time in his career tonight, when the San Diego Padres return to Turner Field for the second of four games with the Atlanta Braves.
Richard, who'll turn 29 next month, was a 14-game winner with the Padres in 2010 after combining to win 11 times in his initial two big-league seasons with San Diego and the Chicago White Sox.
He fell to just five wins in only 18 starts last season, but got within one of double digits this year with a complete-game gem against the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 8.
In that game, the Indiana native allowed five hits and struck out five batters in a 2-0 victory.
He's winless in four career starts against the Braves with a bloated 7.36 earned run average in 18 1/3 innings.
Atlanta counters with streaking right-handed veteran Tim Hudson, who's not lost since July 1.
Hudson pitched six innings and allowed six runs on an 8-4 defeat to the Washington Nationals in his initial start last month, but has since rebounded with five wins in seven starts.
He earned his last win on Aug. 3 against Houston after going 7 1/3 innings and allowing an unearned run on four hits in a 4-1 victory.
In one start since, he was chased after 4 1/3 innings following six hits and six runs in a game the Braves ultimately won, 12-6, at Philadelphia.
Hudson is 5-0 in 11 career meetings with San Diego with a stingy 2.98 ERA in 60 1/3 innings.
In Monday's opener, Eric Stults spun 7 2/3 dominant innings and Chase Headley continued to thrive at the plate, as the Padres topped the Braves, 4-1.
Headley clubbed a solo home run and drove in a pair, while Yonder Alonso and Cameron Maybin had an RBI apiece for the Padres, who have won seven of their last eight.
Headley is on a tear of late with four homers and 11 RBI over his last four games.
Stults (3-2) allowed one run on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Luke Gregerson got the final out in the eighth to extend his scoreless streak to 16 2/3 innings and Dale Thayer picked up his sixth save of the season with a clean ninth inning in place of injured closer Huston Street.
"Our bullpen doesn't get enough credit," Stults said. "Street has done a great job, but we've got guys that can do the job. Luke came up with a big strikeout there. Dale's got a little bit of experience closing in the minors and has done a good job."
Martin Prado drove in the lone Atlanta run with a triple. Mike Minor (6-9) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on nine hits with three strikeouts over six innings.
This is the first series between the teams in 2012. San Diego won five of nine games against Atlanta in 2011, while the Braves were 4-2 series winners in 2010.