The Atlanta Braves hope another extra day of rest will help Tim Hudson's ailing neck. The right-hander hopes it will help him end the longest winless streak of his career.
The Braves will try to avoid matching their worst losing streak of the season Saturday night against the host Philadelphia Phillies.Hudson (4-7, 4.22 ERA) was slated to start the series opener Friday, but was moved back a day after being treated for a stiff neck earlier this week."I'm fine," said Hudson, who will be pitching on six days' rest. "This time of year when you get an extra day, it's not a big deal. It can only be a good thing."The right-hander's most recent start, however, also came on six days' rest and the results weren't favorable. Hudson's winless streak reached 10 in an 11-5 win over Arizona last Saturday after he allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings.The four runs of support he received were the most during his winless stretch, as Hudson got a total of 10 runs in the previous nine outings.He started opening day against the Phillies on April 1 and gave up three runs in 4 1/3 innings of a 7-5 victory.The veteran has struggled on the road, going 1-7 with a 5.71 ERA in nine outings on the season. However, he's pitched at least seven innings in two of his last three starts in Philadelphia, allowing no earned runs in both.Hudson will be trying to end a three-game skid for Atlanta (49-37) after Paul Maholm -- who swapped starts with Hudson -- took the loss in a 5-4 defeat Friday. The Braves have lost a season-high four straight twice.Philadelphia would certainly like to keep that slide going as it looks to get back into the NL East race and try to cut down the still-sizable deficit to Atlanta."The only way to definitely gain ground on teams ahead of you is to beat them," left-hander Cliff Lee said. "We have to win this series and as many games as we can heading into the All-Star break."Kyle Kendrick (7-5, 3.59) will take the mound for Philadelphia (42-45). He's 1-1 with a 2.91 ERA in 19 career games -- 13 starts -- against Atlanta.Braves left fielder Justin Upton had one extra-base hit in his last seven games before going 2 for 4 with a double Friday. He went 4 for 4 with two homers off Kendrick last year.The Phillies' Ben Revere went 2 for 4 on Friday and has gone 15 for 33 in his last eight contests.Ryan Howard, who hit his 11th home run Friday, is tied with Jose Reyes for the second-most hits against Hudson, going 22 for 67 (.328) with seven homers.