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Hudson takes rocky outing vs. Marlins in stride

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Tim Hudson has been around long enough to not be bothered after experiencing a rough outing in the middle of Spring Training. In fact, the Braves veteran pitcher was pretty jovial after struggling through five innings during Sunday's 10-2 loss to the Marlins at Champion Stadium.

"I was just working on backing up the bases and making sure I don't forget where they are," said Hudson, who hit two batters, surrendered nine hits and allowed six earned runs.

If Hudson is searching for positives with three weeks left before the start of the regular season, he can take solace in the fact that his arm is already stretched out. He threw 79 pitches against the Marlins on Monday and 97 more during this action-packed outing against the Marlins.

"I'm definitely getting work in," Hudson said. "But I need it right now. I'm not nearly where I want to be. I'll have three more starts left. By the end of spring, I should be up to 160 or 170 pitches."

Hudson's playful responses provide indication that he has not reached the point of the exhibition season where he is worried about results. Since completing two scoreless innings in his debut on Feb. 22, the 37-year-old pitcher has worked 10 innings and allowed 12 runs. His curveball has been inconsistent and his mechanics are still a work in progress.

"Physically, this is probably the best I've felt from a stamina standpoint," Hudson said. "The results just haven't been great. It's been hit or miss with some pitches. I'll make a couple good ones and then a couple bad ones. Hopefully, it will be different during the season."

Hudson began Sunday's outing by hitting Christian Yelich with a curveball. Three batters later, he surrendered a three-run home run to Marcell Ozuna, who fouled a couple two-strike pitches before hitting an opposite-field shot over the right-field wall.

Chone Figgins' two-out bloop single in the second inning scored two runs and added to the frustration felt by Hudson, who will be scheduled to complete six innings against the Mets on Friday.

"The last couple of starts have been a train wreck from a production standpoint," Hudson said. "But I'm out there pitching in situations that are stressful and trying to make pitches in difficult spots. I haven't exactly made pitches when I wanted to. But it's nice to have a situation where you can work on things and challenge yourself out there without hurting the team in a real game."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
Read More: Atlanta Braves, Juan Francisco, Eric O'Flaherty, Tim Hudson