Hudson's Interleague woes continue

Hudson struggles in Texas

ARLINGTON -- With their ace set for his next turn, there might have been some who assumed the Braves were set to benefit from yet another solid start. But whenever Tim Hudson is pitching in Arlington or against an American League opponent, nobody should ever make any kind of positive assumption.

Hudson has never been able to explain why he's dominated the Nationals all the way back to their days as the Expos of Montreal. Nor does he even attempt to provide a logical explanation about the fact that he's encountered basically nothing but frustration in any of the Interleague games he's started since joining the Braves.

"It's just bad timing," Hudson said. "I've had some tough games." After being victimized during a rough and somewhat controversial third inning that propelled the Rangers to a 7-5 win over the Braves at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Tuesday night, Hudson was still wondering how much different things might have been if that double play had actually been turned.

The potential double play occurred with the bases loaded and nobody out. Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar received a flip from Kelly Johnson and then threw to first. But a heads-up, or maybe more appropriately hands-up slide by Ian Kinsler, actually resulted in the play recording just one out. The throw hit Kinsler's right hand and consequently traveled airborne just halfway to first base.

Still, Escobar's strong throw bounced and seemingly beat Michael Young to first base. But when the Braves looked to first-base umpire Ed Montague, they didn't receive a call.

"I think it was an out two ways," said Teixeira, who was playing the Rangers for the first time since they traded him to the Braves at last year's trade deadline. "The runner had his hands up in the air and even with that, the throw still beat the guy to first. For me, you've got two ways to call him out, and they didn't call either."

Braves manager Bobby Cox, who has an all-time ejections record that proves he's never afraid to voice his displeasure toward umpires, didn't put up much of a fight. His take was there was no way to prove Kinsler purposefully raised his hands to create the deflection. But at the same time, Cox definitely understood the importance of the ruling.

"It was a big one," Cox said. "If we turn that, they only get two runs. So then [they only have] three [runs], instead of five. That's a world of difference in this ballpark."

The Rangers' four-run third inning proved even more important when Brian McCann drilled a three-run, eighth-inning homer off Eddie Guardado. McCann's 13th homer of the season followed consecutive two-out walks to Teixeira and Chipper Jones, who went hitless in two at-bats to keep his Major League-best batting average exactly at .400.

"You can [complain] about [the potential double play]," said Hudson, who was charged with a season-high six earned runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings. "But I've got to do a better job after the fact."

Hudson, who said he was at full strength following the dehydration he experienced after last week's start at Wrigley Field, allowed a pair of singles to the Rangers' eighth and ninth hitters to begin the third inning. Then, after getting ahead of Kinsler with a 1-2 count, he ended up issuing a walk to load the bases and set the stage for the most decisive play of the night.

Once Young wasn't called out at first base, Hudson walked Josh Hamilton, who had hit his 19th homer in the first inning. This set the stage for Milton Bradley to deliver a two-run single to center on a 3-2 fastball. David Murphy then capped the uprising with a sacrifice fly.

"He didn't get any breaks," Teixeira said of Hudson. "I thought he pitched better than it showed. A couple of close plays didn't go our way. But that's baseball."

Baseball can create a number of crazy stats, and two of those trends showed Hudson was doomed entering Tuesday. In the 12 Interleague starts he's made since joining the Braves in 2005, he is 0-10 with a 7.82 ERA. In nine career starts at this stadium, he is 2-5 with a 6.79 ERA.

After this loss, Hudson was surprised to learn that his first career loss actually occurred at this stadium. But given all that he's encountered here, it didn't shock him.

"I actually like [this ballpark]," Hudson said. "I just don't like pitching here."

The Braves, who had seen their starters go 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA in their previous five games, didn't mount much of a challenge against Rangers starter Vicente Padilla until forcing him to throw 39 pitches in the sixth inning. Still, they managed just two runs in the inning, with the final one coming courtesy of a Teixeira sacrifice fly.

During his first plate appearance, Teixeira received a mixture of cheers and some expected boos. But for the most part, the fans seemed to enjoy the return of the switch-hitting first baseman, who was with the Rangers from 2003 until being dealt to the Braves last year.

"I was expecting some boos," Teixeira said. "That's the norm. But I'll tell you, I get worse in New York and Philadelphia."

While the fans might be a little more rude in New York and Philadelphia, Hudson is among those who will say the results in those cities aren't nearly as cruel as the ones he experiences in this Texas town.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.