Rookie right-hander Donovan Hand makes the first start of his brief big-league career on Saturday when the Milwaukee Brewers host the Atlanta Braves in the middle portion of a three-game series at Miller Park.
A 27-year-old from Alabama who's a product of Jacksonville State University, Hand was a 14th-round pick of the Brewers in the 2007 draft and toiled for six-plus seasons in the minors, including 16 relief outings at Triple-A Nashville to begin 2013.
He was 2-1 with a 3.18 earned run average in the most recent minor-league stint, before a call-up to the majors that has since yielded eight relief appearances and a 3.38 ERA in 13 1/3 innings.
Hand has pitched scoreless baseball in his last two outings and in three of the last four. Overall, he's allowed five earned runs while holding opponents to a .294 batting average.
His earned run average in four home appearances is 2.25.
"I'm going to go out like I'm the long guy in the bullpen, which I've done. I'll go out until they tell me to stop," Hand said. "It's an opportunity, if nothing else to go out and work on some pitches. Get off to a good start with two good innings, three good innings and see what happens after that."
The Braves go with veteran righty Tim Hudson, who'll try for the ninth time to record a first win since May 5.
The 37-year-old Georgia native was 4-1 after a 9-4 defeat of the New York Mets, but has since gone 0-5 in eight starts while seeing his ERA swell from 3.83 to 4.17.
Atlanta has won three of the eight starts, but, in the five losses, has managed just 10 runs while Hudson has allowed 21 runs in 29 innings.
Hudson is 4-4 in 10 career starts against Milwaukee.
On Friday, Wily Peralta threw seven scoreless innings as the Brewers blanked the Braves, 2-0.
Peralta (5-8), who entered the game with a 6.08 ERA, gave up just two hits and four walks while fanning four in his outing. Jim Henderson allowed two walks in the ninth, but was able to notch his 10th save.
Jean Segura went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and Aramis Ramirez drove in the other run for the Brewers. Norichika Aoki returned from the paternity list and went 3-for-4 with a stolen base and a run scored.
Julio Teheran (5-4) surrendered both runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings for the Braves, who lost three times in a rare five-game set against the Mets earlier this week.
The Braves and Brewers split six games in 2012 with the home team winning each time.