Hudson hopes to stay hot in San Francisco
Veteran Tim Hudson didn't show signs of slowing down last time out in his first outing since reaching a career milestone.
Coming off one of his better performances of the season, Hudson aims to win a third straight start on Friday night when the Atlanta Braves resume a four- game series against the San Francisco Giants.
Hudson picked up the 200th win of his career on April 30 after holding Washington to a run over seven innings. The 37-year-old then came back on Sunday to beat the New York Mets 9-4, yielding three runs on five hits and a walk over a season-high 7 1/3 innings. The ageless wonder also matched a 2013 best with seven strikeouts.
"That's a good sign for us," Atlanta outfielder Reed Johnson said of Hudson's strong start. "This game is about starting pitching. Any time we can get those guys deep into the game, it's going to be huge for us."
The right-hander improved to 4-1 with a 3.83 earned run average in seven starts this season and is 8-4 lifetime versus the Giants with a 3.17 ERA in 17 meetings.
While Hudson is looking to continue a solid start, the Giants' Matt Cain is simply trying to build off his first victory of 2013.
A 16-game winner a season ago, Cain began this campaign 0-2 with a 6.49 ERA before notching a victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. He logged a season-high 7 1/3 innings, giving up a run on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
Cain nearly lost the victory as all three of the Dodgers' runs came in the eighth inning, but the bullpen eventually settled things down.
"He got us into the eighth inning, and as usual our boys are entertaining and made it close again. But I was happy for Matt the way he threw the ball," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Cain, who lowered his season ERA to 5.57, is 3-2 lifetime when facing the Braves with a 3.16 ERA in six starts.
The Braves took the opener of this set on Thursday by a 6-3 margin thanks to a two-run homer by Brian McCann and a four-run fifth inning that also featured an RBI single by the catcher. McCann was playing in his third game since recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
"A healthy McCann is a guy who can swing the bat and make a big impact in that lineup," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He makes our lineup a lot better."
So does Freddie Freeman, who drove in the go-ahead run during the fifth frame. Andrelton Simmons and B.J. Upton also knocked in a run each to vault the Braves to their fourth victory in five games.
Julio Teheran tossed seven strong innings to get the win, allowing just three runs on seven hits, while Craig Kimbrel worked around a two-out double in the ninth to secure his 100th career save.
Buster Posey belted a two-run homer and plated all three runs for the Giants, who have dropped three of their last four games and fell into a tie with the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West.
Ryan Vogelsong struck out seven over 4 1/3 frames, but was tagged for six runs on seven hits and three walks to absorb the loss.
"He was throwing well, it was evident by the strikeouts he was getting," Bochy said of Vogelsong. "I do think the pitches probably caught up with him a little bit there in the fifth."
Giants infielder Marco Scutaro extended his hitting streak to nine games and is batting a robust .486 over the run with 17 hits in 35 at-bats. However, the 37-year-old is 0-for-7 lifetime against Hudson.
The Braves and Giants split a four-game series in San Francisco last season.