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WSH@SF: Hudson earns win with strong start vs. Nats

Tim Hudson's ERA has risen nearly a full run in the last two weeks -- and the 38-year-old right-hander still sports a sub-three mark.

In his last two starts, Hudson (7-4) is 0-2 with a 9.58 ERA and a 2.32 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) in 10 1/3 innings. The two rocky outings caused Hudson's Major League-low 1.81 ERA to jump up to 2.62. Opponents hit .438/.472/.688 against Hudson over that span.

But Hudson will try to turn it around Sunday against the Reds and Homer Bailey (7-4) as San Francisco tries to avoid a four-sweep at the hands of Cincinnati.

Before his recent downslide, Hudson had been magnificent. In his four previous starts, he was 3-0 with a 1.04 ERA and 1.19 WHIP while opponents managed a .238/.294/.277 slash line against him.

The Giants are 10-4 in games Hudson has started and have only lost one of his eight home nods this season. The lone home loss came in Hudson's last start, when he gave up six runs (four earned) on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Hudson ranks seventh in the National League in ERA and eighth in WHIP. He has thrown the second-fewest amount of pitches per plate appearance in Major League Baseball (3.40).

Lifetime against the Reds, Hudson is 5-1 with a 3.20 ERA in eight starts.

Bailey, meanwhile, has not won since June 8, when he capped a personal four-game winning streak with eight innings of one-run ball against the Phillies. Since then, Bailey has lasted longer than six innings once and allowed at least three runs in all three starts.

His last game, a 5 1/3-inning performance against the Cubs, was his shortest start since May 17 against the Phillies when he went 3 2/3 innings and gave up six runs.

Bailey has already faced the Giants this season, going six innings and yielding three runs on five hits while earning the victory in a 6-3 Reds win on June 3.

In his career against the Giants, Bailey is 3-0 with a 4.30 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in seven starts while posting a 1-0 record, 5.82 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in three starts at AT&T Park.

This season, opponents are hitting .282/.341/.441 against him, which ranks third/fourth/seventh worst among qualified NL pitchers. He has given up 13 homers, the eighth-most in the NL.

Reds: Chapman finally blows one
On Saturday, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman pitched for the fourth straight day, a feat he had only done once before in his career. The Giants pushed a run over against Chapman with Buster Posey's double in the ninth.

Chapman had pitched three consecutive days once before this season, when he did it from June 11-3. In September 2013, Chapman got the call four straight days and threw four scoreless innings with nine strikeouts to pick up two saves.

"He came into Spring Training and told me, 'My goal is to be available to you to use every single day,' knowing that he wouldn't be used every day," Reds manager Bryan Price said Saturday. "He said, 'I'm going to be in condition to be able to pitch every day that you need me.' We're not going to use him every single time we need him."

Chapman has now converted three of four save opportunities and has a 2.45 ERA in the last four games.

Giants: Where has the power gone?
The Giants are third in the NL with 77 home runs, but have just eight in their last 20 games and have just seven in their last 18 home games.

On the season, the Giants are 33-14 when they hit at least one home run and 13-21 when they do not.

Michael Morse once appeared bound for the Home Run Derby, with 10 home runs in his first 42 games, but he hasn't homered at all since June 5 and his last homer at home came May 15. He has 13 homers this season.

The absence of Brandon Belt, out since May 9 with a broken left thumb, has not helped. Belt had nine homers in his first 35 games and is slugging .504.

Worth noting
• The Giants are 4-14 since June 9, the worst Major League record in that span.

• With their win Saturday, the Reds have won five straight series.

• In June, Reds batters are hitting .327 (66-for-202) with runners in scoring position. Comments