Tim Hudson set out to work on his sharpness Wednesday night in Triple-A Gwinnett, and improve his results along the way. He accomplished both, allowing only one unearned run in five innings against the Norfolk Tides in the third start of four he’s expected to make on a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Hudson, who had given up six runs in seven innings in two Single-A starts, allowed two hits, three walks and struck out four on Wednesday, throwing 48 of his 76 pitches for strikes. He coaxed eight groundball outs.
Hudson gave up a leadoff triple and walked two to load the bases with nobody out in the first, but he got out of the inning unscathed on a double-play grounder and a line-out. He retired 12 in a row until giving up a one-out walk in the fifth.
The only run he allowed came after an error by shortstop Josh Wilson and a bloop single for Xavier Avery, who had the only two hits in the game off Hudson.
“I don’t feel like I’m quite ready to go, but it was a positive step in the right direction,” Hudson told reporters afterward. “I feel good where I’m at physically. It’s more about executing pitches and figuring out a better way to get big league hitters out.”
Hudson, who is coming off November back surgery, is scheduled to build up to six innings and 100 pitches in a start Tuesday in Gwinnett, and barring setbacks return to Atlanta’s rotation on April 29th or 30th against the Pirates.