Based on his pitching of late and career-long success against the Houston Astros, Tim Hudson has a good chance to succeed in the first attempt to win his 100th game in an Atlanta Braves' uniform.
The right-hander can earn that milestone victory with a fourth consecutive winning start Friday night against the lowly Astros at Turner Field.
Hudson (10-4, 3.68 ERA) allowed two runs in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-2 win over Philadelphia on Sunday. He's 4-0 with a 3.19 ERA in five starts since losing to Washington on July 1.
The 37-year-old Hudson, who has posted a 3.15 ERA while winning his last three starts, is 99-63 with a 3.52 in 215 regular season and playoff games since he was traded to Atlanta in 2005. Despite missing practically all of April while recovering from back surgery, Hudson has 10 wins for the 13th time in 14 major league seasons.
"I've been fortunate to be able to go out there and stay healthy since I missed that first month,' Hudson said. "Guys have played really well behind me.'
He is 4-1 with a 2.35 ERA in eight starts, including the postseason, versus Houston.
Owners of the majors' worst record, the Astros (35-71) have dropped 28 of 31 overall, including nine straight and 22 of 23 on the road. Houston, a loser in 14 of 18 against the Braves, has been outscored 27-7 during a five-game skid at Atlanta.
Things won't get any easier this weekend after Atlanta rolled to a 6-1 win over Miami on Thursday for its eighth win in nine games. Freddie Freeman and Chipper Jones each had two-run doubles for the Braves (60-45), who continue to hold the NL's second wild-card spot.
Freeman is 10 for 19 with five RBIs in his last five games after going 1 for 14 in his previous five.
Batting .316 during his final major league season, Jones has hit .438 with two homers and five RBIs in his last eight games against the Astros.
Houston pitchers posted a 10.88 ERA while giving up 31 runs during a three-game sweep this week at Milwaukee that concluded with losses of 13-4 and 10-1. The Astros have not allowed at least 10 runs in three consecutive games since doing so in four straight July 29-Aug. 2, 2007.
Armando Galarraga (0-0, 3.60) has a chance to prevent that from happening as he takes the mound after allowing three runs and two homers in five innings of a 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday in his first major league appearance since May 16, 2011.
Galarraga, who went 3-2 with a 3.97 ERA in 10 starts between Single-A Lexington and Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, hopes to revive his career with Houston after going 3-4 with a 5.91 ERA in eight starts for Arizona in 2011.
"I need to show I can pitch again and contribute,' he said. "There are a lot of new people and new faces around here with all the changes, but we need to keep it together and pitch well.'
This will be the right-hander's first appearance against the Braves.
Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve has hit .396 (19 for 48) during his last 12 games.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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