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Hudson tosses two innings at Class A


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By Adam Rosenberg / MLB.com

07/19/09 9:47 PM ET

Braves pitcher Tim Hudson took another successful step toward returning to Atlanta's rotation with a strong outing for Class A Myrtle Beach on Sunday.

Hudson threw his planned two innings in style against the Winston-Salem Dash, striking out two and walking one. He threw just 27 pitches, with 18 of them being strikes, in the scoreless outing.

"I felt really good," Hudson said. "The ball felt really good coming out of my hand and I didn't have any problems with my arm."

The right-hander has been out of action since August of last season, when he underwent Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his pitching elbow. His recovery timetable indicates that he could return to Atlanta's rotation by the end of August, although it may be more likely that he'll return at the beginning of September when rosters expand.

In three-plus seasons with the Braves, Hudson is 54-38 with a 3.78 ERA. He is signed through this season, with a club option for 2010. It is unknown at this time what Braves management plans to do with the starting rotation when Hudson returns, as all five of the current members of the staff are enjoying successful years.

Adam Rosenberg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Second Rehab start notes from July 23, 2009

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — If Tim Hudson forgot how frustrating the game of baseball can be during his year away, he certainly got a refresher Thursday.

During his second rehabilitation start with the Class A Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Braves pitcher threw 31 of 46 pitches for strikes, but the Wilmington Blue Rocks found holes when they made contact and forced an early end to his evening.

Hudson allowed five singles and three earned runs, all in the third inning. Though his final line wasn’t nearly as dominating as it was after his first start Sunday, Hudson was pleased that he was able to pitch in some difficult situations.

“Anytime you go on rehab starts, you want to get some work in,” Hudson said. “Tonight was definitely some work for me. I was in some jams and was able to try and pitch through some jams and pitch in some stressful innings with guys on base and guys in scoring position.

“It’s good. You need to experience those kinds of things in rehab starts. I’m happy with it. I gave up some runs and some hits in the third inning, but it allowed me to go out there and get some work in.”

Hudson said he will make his next start Monday with Class AAA Gwinnett. He is scheduled to make five to six minor-league starts before rejoining the Braves’ staff next month.

Hudson didn’t allow a hit and struck out two Sunday in a 27-pitch, two-inning effort. It appeared he was headed for a similar performance Thursday, which marked the one-year anniversary of the elbow injury that forced him to undergo ligament-reconstruction surgery.

The 34-year-old starter needed only six pitches to complete a 1-2-3 first inning. His workload increased in the second, when he needed 19 pitches after giving up a leadoff walk, but he still hadn’t allowed a hit in Myrtle Beach when he took the mound in the third inning.

However, three of Wilmington’s first four batters grounded or chopped singles through the infield, scoring the first of Hudson’s three earned runs. After a groundout drove home the second run, Wilmington collected a fourth single, on a grounder to first base that could have been ruled an error, and then a fifth hit on a chopper over first base.

Already one pitch over his limit, Hudson left the game with two outs to a standing ovation.

“I’ve thrown up to 90 pitches in bullpens, so I don’t think one more pitch past 45 is going to kill me,” Hudson said.

“I’ve just got to work on the command of my pitches. I haven’t pitched in a competitive atmosphere in almost a year. This is the first time I’ve gone out there and pitched against hitters with that adrenaline rush. I’ve got to go out there and clean up a few things in my delivery. I’ve got to get things harnessed down and locate pitches a little better.”

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