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WSH@SD: Cashner fans six in solid start vs. Nats

SAN DIEGO -- The Tim Hudson of June has been almost unrecognizable from the Tim Hudson of May. Two starts into this month, the Braves right-hander has allowed only one earned run and seven hits over 14 1/3 innings. But he still hasn't won since May 5.

Based on past splits, there's a good chance Hudson's hot month will continue when Atlanta takes on the Padres in the middle game of a three-game set on Tuesday. In 12 career appearances against San Diego, Hudson is 6-0 with a 2.70 ERA, including 6 1/3 scoreless frames in a start at Petco Park last August.

Hudson had a miserable May, going 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA, but he has since fixed a couple of flaws in his mechanics and says he's past those struggles.

"I made a few adjustments in my delivery, and mechanically I had a few things that I needed to iron out," Hudson (4-5, 4.48 ERA) said. "I feel like I've made all the necessary adjustments."

Opposing Hudson will be Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner (4-3, 3.68 ERA). Cashner has worked at least six inning in his last seven outings, including seven against the Rockies in hitter-friendly Coors Field on Thursday.

"The biggest thing is getting ahead," Cashner said of his ability to work deeper into games of late. "Getting ahead early in the count gives you a better chance to succeed. Then you keep making pitches."

The Atlanta lineup should offer the 26-year-old fireballer some solid competition. The Braves lead Major League Baseball with 88 homers, and they sit seven games ahead of Washington in the NL East.

But there's no reason to think Cashner won't be up to the task. In five starts against clubs with winning records this year -- Baltimore, Arizona, Colorado and San Francisco twice -- he is 2-1 with a 3.26 ERA. He also beat Washington, which is at .500, with 6 2/3 strong innings.

"Every team is tough," Cashner said. "No team is tougher than another. Different pitches play with different teams, but the biggest thing is just being aggressive on aggressive teams, and getting ahead."

San Diego cleanup man Carlos Quentin has turned his season around following a rocky start. Since May 10, the San Diego left fielder has raised his average 95 points from .169 to .264. During that time, he's hitting .337 with five homers.

Braves: Pena could return to lineup
Atlanta infielder Ramiro Pena left Sunday's game in Los Angeles with right shoulder discomfort, and he did not play Monday night.

Pena could return to the Braves' lineup for the Tuesday's game, as he was able to come off the bench on Monday but never got the chance.

Pena is hitting .292 with three homers and an .819 OPS.

Padres: Forsythe returns with bang
Logan Forsythe replaced DL-ed second baseman Jedd Gyorko on the Padres' roster on Monday. Forsythe missed the first two months of the season with plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

"It feels good to be back up here with the team," said Forsythe, who went 2-for-2 with a long home run in his first at-bat of the season on Monday. "Foot's been feeling good -- pretty close to 100 percent, no setbacks."

Gyorko, hitting .284 and tied for the team lead with eight home runs, is out indefinitely with a groin strain.

Worth noting
• Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin is 6-for-16 with a homer in his career against Hudson. Meanwhile, third baseman Chase Headley has just a single in 13 at-bats versus the right-hander.

• Four players on the Braves roster -- Freddie Freeman, Gerald Laird, Reed Johnson and Kris Medlen -- are natives of Southern California.

• The Braves are 26-4 when they score first this season. Comments