After undergoing offseason back surgery, Tim Hudson finally makes his 2012 debut today for the Atlanta Braves.
Hudson, who made four rehabilitation starts this spring, went 16-10 with a 3.22 ERA in 33 starts last year. The veteran right-hander went 10-4 at home with a sparkling 2.31 ERA. He's 5-5 with a 2.65 ERA in 11 lifetime games against the Pirates.
"Everything went the way we planned it out," Hudson said. "That doesn't always happen. During my Tommy John rehab, there was a setback. Back surgery is not a common thing. So I really didn't know what to expect. Luckily for me and all of us, everything went according to plan."
The Pirates counter with Kevin Correia, who will make his fourth start of the season. He didn't get a decision in a six-inning performance against Colorado on Tuesday. The righty is 2-1 with a 3.90 ERA in nine games (5 starts) vs. Atlanta.
Last night, Alex Presley had two hits, scored twice and knocked in a run in Pittsburgh's 4-2 win in the second portion of this four-game series.
Pedro Alvarez added a pair of hits and an RBI, while Erik Bedard (1-4) earned his first win as a Pirate, allowing one run on five hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in Pittsburgh's sixth win in 10 games.
"We did a good job of getting some timely hits," remarked Alvarez. "Hopefully we can keep it going."
Bedard signed as a free agent with the Pirates in the offseason and had lost nine of his last 10 decisions going back to last year.
Joel Hanrahan worked a perfect ninth inning for his fourth save of the season.
Randall Delgado (2-2) gave up four runs on eight hits and three walks through 4 1/3 innings as Atlanta had its three-game win streak snapped.
"Our offense just didn't do it today," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "We had some opportunities in multiple innings but we just couldn't get the big hits."
Presley heads into today with a career-high 12-game hitting streak.
Atlanta is expected to be without catcher Brian McCann for a second straight game due to a strained muscle in his right side.
The Braves have won 11 of their last 17 against the Pirates, including six of nine in Atlanta.