LAWRENCEVILLE, GA. - Making his first Major League rehab start for Gwinnett since 2009, Atlanta Braves' right-hander Tim Hudson led the G-Braves to a 4-1 victory over the Norfolk Tides on Wednesday night at Coolray Field. Hudson looked sharp, allowing one unearned run over five innings and at one point in the game retiring 13 consecutive hitters. Ernesto Mejia delivered the big blow of the night with a bases-clearing double in the bottom half of the first inning.
Hudson (W, 1-0) made his third minor league rehab appearance, and first with the Gwinnett Braves this season. After a first inning that saw the Major Leaguer load the bases before recording the first out of the game, Hudson settled in and was nearly untouchable the rest of the way. For the night, he allowed only two hits and three walks, struck out four and threw 76 pitches, 48 for strikes.
"It was a step in the right direction. I don't feel like I'm quite ready to go, but it was a positive step in the right direction," said Hudson. "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."
The G-Braves scored all the runs Hudson would need in the bottom of the first inning, loading the bases before an out was recorded. Mejia capitalized on the moment with a three-run double to left off Tides' left-hander Dana Eveland, giving Gwinnett a 3-0 lead. Mejia finished the game 1-for-4 with three RBI on his fourth double of the year.
Eveland (L, 1-1) settled in afterward, but still took the loss for Norfolk. Two of his three runs were unearned on seven hits over 6.0 innings. Left-hander Zach Phillips yielded a run on two hits over 2.0 innings in relief.
Left-hander Dusty Hughes and right-handers Adam Russell and Cory Gearrin combined to work four scoreless innings following the departure of Hudson from the game. Gearrin (S, 2) picked up the save, his second of the season, as he stranded three inherited runners in the eighth inning before working a perfect ninth.
With the win, Gwinnett remains unbeaten against Norfolk this season, after winning their sixth-straight to start the 2012 campaign. The first place G-Braves move their record to 10-4 on the year and are only the second team in the International League this season to record double-digit victories.
The Gwinnett Braves (10-4) conclude their four-game series with the Norfolk Tides (5-9) on Thursday afternoon at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 12:05 PM. G-Braves' right-hander Eric Junge (1-1, 7.20) will oppose Norfolk left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, who is on a Major League rehab assignment for the Baltimore Orioles. Listen to the game on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.
Thursday is "$3 Thursday" which includes $3 food and drink specials all game long. All general admission berm seating is also just $3 on Thursdays. Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.