Tim Hudson hasn't tasted victory in over a month and looks to halt his current winless drought when the Atlanta Braves aim to even their three-game series with the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
Hudson last won on May 5 versus the New York Mets and is 0-4 with a 5.29 earned run average in his last six starts. Hudson was robbed of a solid outing in last Thursday's 5-0 loss at Los Angeles and delivered seven innings of one- run, four-hit ball with five strikeouts and no walks.
"Huddy was outstanding," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He can't do any better than that. I guess throw zeros up there, but usually when you give up one run, you've got a pretty good chance to win a ballgame."
The loss to the Dodgers dropped the veteran right-hander to 4-5 with a 4.48 ERA in 13 starts. Hudson hopes he can put his unpolished road record behind him when he takes on the Padres Tuesday, as he owns a 1-5 mark in seven away starts. That is a strong possibility because Hudson is 6-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 12 career meetings (11 starts) with San Diego.
Atlanta dropped a 7-6 decision to the Padres in Monday's series opener and its four-run rally in the top of the ninth fell short. Braves starter Julio Teheran didn't have his best stuff and was reached for five runs and six hits in six innings. Teheran was coming off a start in which he tossed eight scoreless innings and struck out 11.
"I think our expectation of Teheran was for him to go out every time out and throw seven shutout innings and take a no-hitter into the eighth," Gonzalez said. "Sometimes he's going to have four or five good ones. And sometimes, he's going to have one like this."
Jason Heyward homered twice and went deep during the ninth-inning rally, while Evan Gattis cracked a three-run shot in that same inning for the NL East- leading Braves, who had won two in a row and seven of nine.
The Braves are 2-3 on a seven-game western trek and seven games in front of Washington for the division lead.
San Diego opened a six-game homestand with Monday's win, but almost blew a 7-1 advantage. Tim Stauffer surrendered the three-run homer to Gattis in the ninth and Dale Thayer gave up Heyward's solo shot, but managed to record his first save.
Padres starter Jason Marquis was brilliant once again and is 7-0 in his last nine starts. Marquis allowed two runs in 7 2/3 innings and struck out four batters. He did, however, issue five walks and give up five hits, including a home run to Heyward.
"I allow the game to dictate how I attack it," Marquis said. "I go in with a game plan, but I just see where the game takes me."
Will Venable hit a three-run home run and Logan Forsythe belted a solo shot for the Padres, who have won four of six contests and sit six games off the lead in the jumbled NL West. San Francisco and Colorado are both two games behind Arizona and Los Angeles is last at 8 1/2 games off the pace.
Forsythe was activated off the 60-day disabled list prior to the game and had missed the start of the season due to a case of right plantar fasciitis. Padres rookie second baseman Jedd Gyorko was placed on the DL with a groin strain in a corresponding move.
"It feels good to be back up here with the team," Forsythe said. "Foot's been feeling good, pretty close to a hundred percent. No setbacks."
Andrew Cashner looks to pitch San Diego to a series win Tuesday and he is 4-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 14 games (9 starts). He previously toed the rubber in a 6-5 win at Colorado on Thursday and yielded three runs in seven innings for the no-decision.
Cashner is 0-1 in his last two appearances since going 3-0 in four outings. The right-hander is 3-1 at Petco Park this season and faced Atlanta once in his career, allowing three runs and one hit in just one-third of an inning in a 5-4 win back on Aug. 21, 2010.
San Diego lost four of seven matchups with Atlanta last season.