Los Angeles (30-22) at Atlanta (27-25)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 7:35 pm EDT Wed May 31, 2006
  • TV: KCAL, FSS
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Tony Gwynn & Jeff Passan: Video New-look Dodgers are legit

Tim Hudson has never lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers, a record the Atlanta Braves’ pitcher looks to keep intact when the teams conclude their three-game series at Turner Field on Wednesday.

Hudson (4-3, 4.13 ERA) is 4-0 with a 3.38 ERA in six career starts against the Dodgers. Atlanta and Oakland—the team he broke in with and played for from 1999-2004—both are 3-0 against Los Angeles with Hudson on the mound.

The right-hander started on April 3, but didn’t earn a decision in the Braves’ 11-10 victory over the Dodgers after giving up six hits and five runs in four innings.

He has won his last two decisions overall, and has given up only seven runs in his last four starts, all Braves’ wins. Atlanta (27-25) is 8-3 this season when Hudson starts.

The Dodgers (30-22) are looking to win 19 games in May for the first time in 25 years. With Tuesday’s 8-3 victory, Los Angeles improved to 18-9 this month, its most wins in May since 1993.

The Dodgers went 19-10 in 1981 on their way to a World Series title.

Rookie Andre Ethier had a two-run homer and had a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning. He is hitting .313 with four homers and 12 RBIs since being recalled from the minors on May 2.

“He showed us a lot in spring training, but what he’s been able to show us when he’s been with the club has been amazing,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said.

First baseman Nomar Garciaparra had two doubles Tuesday and has reached base safely in 23 straight games. The former shortstop has failed to reach base only twice in 34 games in his first season with the Dodgers.

“He never throws away one at-bat,” Little said. “He tries to get a hit every time he goes up there regardless of the score or the situation in the game, trying to hit the ball hard every time he goes to the plate.”

Since falling to .500 at 20-20, Los Angeles has won 10 of its past 12 games.

After winning nine of their previous 10 at home, the Braves have lost consecutive games at Turner Field, and three in a row there to the Dodgers.

“They’ve got one of the best hitting teams we’ve faced,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “They’re good.”

Adam LaRoche hit a solo homer Tuesday and has three in his last three games.

Brett Tomko (5-2, 3.86) will try to rebound from his first loss in more than a month when he starts for Los Angeles. Tomko lost to the Cubs on April 17, then won four straight decisions before losing to Washington on Friday.

He gave up nine hits and six runs in 4 2-3 innings in his shortest outing of the season as Los Angeles lost 10-4 to the Nationals.

“I just got in a lot of deep counts, got behind pretty much everybody,” Tomko said. “When you’re behind, basically you’re just flipping a coin. I just wasn’t making pitches when I needed to.”

Tomko is 2-2 with a 6.20 ERA in eight career appearances against the Braves.

Starting Pitchers

B. Tomko Col vs. T. Hudson SF
8-7 Record 13-12
4.73 ERA 4.86
76 K 141
29 BB 79
1.35 WHIP 1.44