Right-hander Tim Hudson aims for a third straight victory on Friday night when the Atlanta Braves visit PNC Park for the second test of a four-game weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
A 37-year-old Georgia native, Hudson opened the season with a no-decision in Atlanta's 7-5 defeat of Philadelphia, then won consecutive decisions over the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals.
In 18 overall innings, he's allowed five runs, but in the last 13 2/3 innings he's only been scored upon twice, while allowing seven hits and striking out 10 batters.
He's 6-5 in 12 career starts against the Pirates with a 2.90 earned run average, and is 3-3 in six career starts at PNC Park.
For the Pirates, Dominican lefty Wandy Rodriguez aims for a second victory in three 2013 outings.
He pitched 6 2/3 innings in a 3-0 defeat of the Chicago Cubs on April 3, allowing two hits, walking one and striking out six.
Outing No. 2 resulted in a no-decision after Rodriguez pitched 2 1/3 innings of two-run ball against Arizona in a game the Pirates ultimately won, 5-3.
Rodriguez is 3-3 in 12 lifetime outings - including 11 starts - against the Braves.
On Thursday, Evan Gattis hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning, while Justin and B.J. Upton both hit solo home runs as the Braves edged the Pirates, 6-4.
Chris Johnson had three hits, including a two-run blast, for the Braves, who bounced back after their 10-game winning streak came to an end on Wednesday versus Kansas City.
Atlanta starter Julio Teheran gave up four runs on seven hits and struck out four over five innings. Anthony Varvaro (1-0) tossed two strong innings in relief to pick up the win.
Garrett Jones had a double and two RBI for the Pirates, while Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin each hit solo home runs. Starter Jeff Locke allowed four runs and walked four over 4 2/3 innings. The lefty also gave up three home runs on six hits.
Jared Hughes (1-1) was dealt with the loss after lasting 1 1/3 innings and giving up two runs on two hits, including Gattis' clutch homer.
"The ball didn't sink and he did a good job of getting his hands inside of it and hitting it hard," Hughes said.
The Pirates won four of seven games between the teams in 2012, while the Braves took four of six in 2011.