ANAHEIM – Braves pitcher Tim Hudson will have his stiff back examined in Atlanta on Monday, and rookie Mike Minor will be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to start in the veteran’s place Wednesday at Pittsburgh.
The plan is for Hudson to rejoin the rotation for a May 30 start, and for Minor to make another start May 31, a spot-start date where a replacement was needed for injured fifth starter Brandon Beachy.
Hudson’s back stiffened in Friday’s game against Anaheim, when he allowed eight runs in 3-2/3 innings in one of the worst starts of his career.
He had said he would do everything he could to make his next scheduled start, but the Braves took that out of his hands, making the decision not to let him push too hard trying to get back so quickly.
“We want to make sure the stiffness calms down,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “It’s stiffness; it’s not spasms. He’s flying back to Atlanta to have doctors look at him tomorrow, to have X-rays or an MRI… We just want to make sure.”
Hudson will not join the team in Pittsburgh for a two-game series Tuesday and Wednesday, which concludes a seven-game, three-city trip. The Braves are off Monday.
Hudson allowed seven hits, three walks and hit three batters Friday, and for the first time in his career gave up eight earned runs in fewer than five innings. His ERA jumped from 3.03 to 3.95.
Since throwing a one-hit shutout against Milwaukee on May 4, Hudson is 0-2 with a 7.47 ERA in his past three starts, with four homers allowed in 15-2/3 innings and more walks (10) than strikeouts (eight).
In seven starts through the one-hitter, he had a 2.86 ERA and allowed only one homer and eight walks with 26 strikeouts in 50-1/3 innings.
Minor is 2-2 with a 2.73 ERA in eight starts at Gwinnett, with 54 strikeouts and 14 walks in 52-2/3 innings.The left-hander gave up a season-high 10 hits and four earned runs in eight innings Friday against Minnesota’s Triple-A affiliate, after allowing two runs or fewer in six of seven previous starts.
In his only major league start this season, he was roughed up April 6 at Milwaukee — seven hits, five runs and four walks in 4-1/3 innings.
Minor lost the No. 5 starter competition to Beachy during spring training, after going 3-2 with a 5.98 ERA in nine games (eight starts) for the Braves in 2010.
Beachy is on the disabled list with a strained oblique.
McLouth hoping to avoid DL
Center fielder Nate McLouth strained his left oblique while checking his swing on the fourth pitch of the first inning Sunday. He left the game, and could land on the DL if his condition isn’t improved before Tuesday.
“I had [an oblique strain] a few years back, but it was really minor,” McLouth said. “I think I only missed three or four games.
“I don’t want to speculate [on the pending DL decision]. We have a day off tomorrow, luckily, and I’m going to see how it feels. I’m just really hoping it’s not going to be a DL thing.”
McLouth took a few swings after the injury to see if he’d be able to continue, but the pain was too severe.
“It was kind of a checked swing on a ball in the dirt,” he said. “I kind of fired like I was going to swing, from by backside, and then stopped real quick. But I’ve done it a million times on breaking balls in the dirt, things like that.
“I was just hoping it was maybe a cramp, or s spasm, but it didn’t go away.”
Diory Hernandez finished the at-bat and grounded out. After the inning, Hernandez moved to third base, Joe Mather switched from right field to center, Martin Prado from third base to left field, and Eric Hinske from left field to right field.