The Atlanta Braves have a legitimate chance at closing their lengthy road trip on a positive note with Tim Hudson slated to take the mound Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the finale of a three-game series at Chase Field.
Through nine career starts against the Diamondbacks, Hudson sports an unblemished 7-0 mark and a 1.33 earned run average. In five starts at Chase Field, Hudson, who earned his 200th career victory April 30, is 4-0 with a microscopic 0.94 ERA.
"I've always enjoyed playing out here," Hudson said of his experience in the desert. "It is a great hitter's park and they've had some great lineups. They've just caught me on some days where I've kept the ball down and missed some barrels. Hopefully, it can keep happening that way."
Hudson, though, wasn't so sharp his last time out in an 8-2 loss at San Francisco on Friday, as he was tagged for six runs and eight hits in a season- low 3 2/3 innings of work. Hudson had won back-to-back starts and is now 4-2 in eight outings with a 4.70 ERA. On the road this season, the right-handed Hudson is just 1-2 in four appearances with a 6.97 ERA.
Julio Teheran drew the start at Arizona on Tuesday and suffered a tough-luck loss for giving up two runs in six innings of a 2-0 setback, Atlanta's fourth in the last five tries.
"It's a shame Teheran gets the loss on a night where he pitched pretty well," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Reed Johnson had two of Atlanta's four hits on the night and former Diamondback Justin Upton went 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeouts. Upton was 4-for-5 with a home run in his first game back at Arizona on Monday.
The Braves still lead the NL East by a game ahead of Washington and are 4-5 so far on the road trip. They will return to Turner Field for a six-game homestand versus Los Angeles and Minnesota.
On the injury front for Atlanta, B.J. Upton did not play Tuesday because of a shoulder bruise and could return in the finale with Arizona. Upton was hit by a pitch in Monday's 10-1 win.
"It's better than I thought it was going to be today," Upton said Tuesday. "It's not too bad. I'm assuming I'll probably (play) tomorrow."
Arizona was able to halt a three-game losing streak and won for the sixth time in nine tries to keep pressure on San Francisco in the NL West. At 1 1/2 games off the division lead, the D'backs saw Patrick Corbin improve to 6-0 with seven shutout innings of three-hit ball. He did walk five batters, but made up for it with five strikeouts.
"Coming off yesterday, I wanted to come in and get a good feeling in this clubhouse again," Corbin said. "Go out there and attack these guys, go after them. They are a pretty good hitting team."
Didi Gregorius drove in both runs on a single in the third inning and Eric Chavez contributed a team-best two hits for the Diamondbacks, who are 3-3 on a seven-game homestand and will hit the road for six games against Miami and Colorado later in the week.
Hoping to keep the momentum going for Arizona, Ian Kennedy draws the start Wednesday afternoon. A former All-Star, Kennedy hasn't achieved much success since opening the season with a win over St. Louis. Since that April 1 start, Kennedy is 0-3 with a 5.19 earned run average in seven chances.
Kennedy pitched well in a no-decision on Friday, as he delivered seven solid innings and allowed two runs in a 3-2 win over Philadelphia. The two runs came in the top of the first inning and Kennedy settled in from there.
"We would've liked to get to Kennedy more," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I thought we were going to score more runs off him. He was off to a slow start, I thought if we stayed at him, we'd get him, but he held us. He bared down and held us. He stopped us."
The righty is 1-3 in eight starts overall with a 4.83 ERA and 1-1 in four trips to the Chase Field mound. He has made three career starts against the Braves, going 1-0 with a 2.66 ERA.
Arizona lost five of seven meetings with the Braves a season ago.