Miami (77-79) at Atlanta (88-69)

  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Tue Sep 28, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Atlanta Braves were hoping to have Jair Jurrjens(notes) back to help them in the wild-card race. Instead, they’ll turn to Tim Hudson(notes) earlier than expected.

Hudson will try to help the Braves create some breathing room in the playoff race when they face the Florida Marlins on Tuesday night.

Jurrjens was slated to return from a sore right knee that has cost him two starts since losing his last one to Washington on Sept. 14. An MRI showed a slight tear of his meniscus, so he’ll miss a third turn in the rotation, while putting his availability for the playoffs in question.

Atlanta (88-69) leads the wild-card race by one-half game on San Diego with five to play. The Braves pulled ahead in the chase when Omar Infante(notes) hit a walkoff single to clinch a 2-1, 11-inning win over the Marlins (77-79) in the opener of this three-game set Monday.

With Jurrjens out again, the Braves have opted to alter their rotation in order to align it for a season-ending playoff push.

Hudson (16-9, 2.80 ERA) will take the mound on four days’ rest Tuesday, so he’ll be in position to start the regular-season finale against Philadelphia on Sunday. Derek Lowe(notes) is now slated to start Game 1 of the NL division series or a potential one-game playoff for the wild card Monday.

“We’ve played all year to get to this point and to get to the playoffs,” Hudson told the team’s official website. “Everybody is doing all they can to allow us to get there. When you have injuries and stuff like that, guys are going to have to rally around what’s going on and get it done.”

Hudson is trying for his most victories in a season since getting 18 with Oakland in 2001, the year after he won a career-high 20 and earned the AL Cy Young Award.

The right-hander, though, has lost four of five starts this month with a 6.10 ERA, while serving up two homers in each of his last three games. He was pounded again Friday, surrendering six runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings of an 8-3 loss at Washington.

“I didn’t do my job, I didn’t make pitches when I needed to,” Hudson said.

The Braves ace is 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA in his last six starts against Florida.

The Marlins have dropped four of five, and will turn to Anibal Sanchez(notes) (12-11, 3.60), who has lost his last two starts with a 7.84 ERA.

The right-hander was tagged for five runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings of an 8-3 loss at Milwaukee on Thursday.

“If the season is over today, I would say Anibal Sanchez had a great season,” manager Edwin Rodriguez told the team’s official website. “He’s been pitching very, very well. Just for the fact that he’s healthy and he’s throwing - that’s good news.”

Sanchez has lost his last two starts at Turner Field, yielding 10 walks over 11 innings.

He’s not expected to face third baseman Martin Prado(notes), who is day-to-day after leaving Monday’s win with a left hip pointer suffered while swinging in the fifth inning. He’ll likely be replaced by Brooks Conrad(notes), who went 1 for 2 Monday and has a .239 average on the season.

“With five games left anytime you lose a guy like Prado it’s not good. Guys will just have to step up,” catcher Brian McCann(notes) said.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Sánchez DET vs. T. Hudson SF
13-12 Record 17-9
3.55 ERA 2.83
157 K 139
70 BB 74
1.34 WHIP 1.15


Tuesday, Sep 28