Washington (51-68) at Atlanta (70-49)

Light Rain Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 45° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Wed Aug 18, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Tim Hudson(notes) may be thrilled for another chance to face the Washington Nationals, a team he has dominated throughout his career.

Lately, no one has been hitting the resurgent right-hander.

Hudson tries to win his sixth straight start overall and 10th consecutive decision against Washington on Wednesday night, with his Atlanta Braves looking to extend their NL East lead.

After missing most of 2009 following Tommy John surgery, the 35-year-old Hudson (14-5, 2.13 ERA) is looking like a contender for the Cy Young Award.

He has given up two total runs in his last five starts, lowering his ERA to the second-best mark in majors behind that of St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright(notes).

In each of his last two outings, Hudson worked eight shutout innings while allowing three hits and one walk. The Braves needed his stellar performance in a 1-0 win over Los Angeles on Friday.

“I feel good,” said Hudson, who last won six consecutive starts during a seven-start win streak to end the 2000 season. “I’m happy with how I’m giving the team a chance to win.

“It would be nice to get some big leads and blow some teams out, but if we just keep pitching this way we’re going to win some more close games.”

Winning against Washington has been no problem for Hudson. He has gone 2-0 with a 1.25 ERA in three starts versus the Nationals this year and 9-0 with a 1.45 ERA in 12 matchups with them since the start of 2007.

Hudson has allowed more than two earned runs once in 16 career starts against the Nationals franchise, which has beaten him only once, on June 5, 2006.

Washington slugger Ryan Zimmerman(notes) is 5 for 31 (.161) against Hudson, while Josh Willingham(notes) is 1 for 20.

Hudson will try to pitch the Braves (70-49) to a fourth consecutive win. Atlanta cruised to a 10-2 victory in the series opener Tuesday, winning for the sixth time in seven games and remaining 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place Philadelphia.

With three hits, three runs and two RBIs, Martin Prado(notes) provided a big boost for Atlanta in his first game since July 30. Despite a stint on the disabled list with a broken finger, the All-Star is tied with Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez(notes) for the NL lead with 141 hits.

The Braves also got contributions from Matt Diaz(notes), who had two RBIs out of the cleanup spot, and Diory Hernandez(notes), whose pinch-hit home run was his first homer of the season.

“It’s been a year like that,” Diaz said. “It’s a different guy every night. It’s got that feel” like something special is happening.

Prado, whose return helps fill the void left by the injured Chipper Jones(notes), has gone 7 for 13 against Washington’s Livan Hernandez(notes) (8-8, 3.08).

The right-hander slipped to 6-16 with a 5.19 ERA in his career against Atlanta with a 3-1 loss July 28, but he is 3-1 with a 3.45 ERA in five starts versus the Braves since the start of 2009.

Hernandez hopes to help Washington (51-68) avoid a fourth straight road loss. The Nationals have averaged 2.8 runs while dropping seven of nine overall, with slugger Adam Dunn(notes) going 5 for 35 with 15 strikeouts in that stretch.

Related Articles

Starting Pitchers

L. Hernández Mil vs. T. Hudson SF
10-12 Record 17-9
3.66 ERA 2.83
114 K 139
64 BB 74
1.32 WHIP 1.15

Scoreboard

Wednesday, Aug 18