ANAHEIM -- Fredi Gonzalez said Tim Hudson's stiff back feels OK, a day after Hudson allowed eight runs in 3 2/3 innings in Friday's 9-0 loss against the Angels.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the start was the first in Hudson's career in which he allowed eight or more earned runs while pitching fewer than five innings, and Gonzalez said after the game his starter was hampered by a little stiffness.
"[He feels] OK -- just OK," Gonzalez said. "There's stiffness in the back. He's only 24 hours removed."
Gonzalez said he'd have a better feel for Hudson's status Sunday or Monday, and that Hudson still is scheduled to start Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
The Braves have scheduled off-days on Monday and Thursday next week, but Gonzalez said they wouldn't try to juggle the rotation in the event that Hudson is unavailable.
"For whatever reason he can't make that, we'd have to spot start someone," Gonzalez said.
"I'm going to do whatever I can to get ready for Pittsburgh on Wednesday," Hudson said Friday night.
Heyward day to day with sore right shoulder
ANAHEIM -- Jason Heyward took batting practice before Friday's game against the Angels, but as he sat out the Braves' 9-0 loss, he began to feel stiffness in his right shoulder.
The discomfort carried over to Saturday, and Heyward was scratched from the lineup a couple of hours before Atlanta's 5-4 win in 12 innings. Heyward's shoulder was evaluated before the game by Angels team physician Lewis Yocum, and nothing new was discovered in the right shoulder that caused Heyward to miss six starts last week.
"Checked him out and everything concludes the same thing," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "So we'll go day-to-day and see what happens."
Heyward came into the game as a defensive replacement in right field for the 12th inning, and Gonzalez said he would be available to fill the same role Sunday, if necessary.
"He's not OK," Gonzalez said. "We're using him for defense, and we'll probably do the same thing tomorrow."
Heyward missed six starts after he exited a May 10 game against the Nationals because of numbness in his right hand and forearm. An ensuing MRI exam revealed he had an inflamed right shoulder, and Heyward received a cortisone injection May 12 to relieve some of the pain.
Gonzalez said he was told about Heyward's condition after Friday's game, and that Heyward let him know when they got to the park that he'd be unable to play Saturday. "He came in and he does his normal treatment that he does every day, and he goes, 'Skip, it hurts. I can't get the thing loose,'" Gonzalez said.
Heyward said he felt some discomfort and pain in his shoulder, but the pain is not as severe as it was prior to the cortisone shot.
"A little popping around in there and some discomfort," said Heyward, who started in right field the three games before Friday's day off.
Asked if he was concerned about the state of his shoulder, Heyward paused, smiled and then asked for the next question.
"I am a little bit [concerned]," Gonzalez said, "for him, because he wants to play."
Fredi shuffles lineup, leads off with McLouth
ANAHEIM -- For the first time this year, someone other than Martin Prado hit leadoff for the Braves.
As manager Fredi Gonzalez continues to mix and match his lineup to generate some runs, Nate McLouth assumed leadoff duties in Saturday night's game against the Angels, while Prado hit second.
"Just trying something a little different," Gonzalez said. "That's what his original plan was when we first traded for him. He's done it before [13 times last season], and just mixing it up a little bit. He's gotten some pretty good at-bats in the eighth and ninth holes."
McLouth hit eighth Friday night when the Braves were shut out by Halos starter Ervin Santana. The game marked the eighth time in the past 15 contests that the Braves scored three runs or fewer, and Santana entered Friday's game just 1-4 with a 4.85 ERA in nine starts.
But he was nearly unhittable against the Braves, allowing only four base knocks, and needed just 103 pitches to record 27 outs.
"The game kind of got out of hand early," McLouth said when asked if he thought hitters were overly aggressive. "At that point out you want to be aggressive, and he was throwing strikes. Every time we hit it, it was going at people and he was making good pitches. You don't want to get too deep in counts when he's throwing strikes, because he's got a pretty good slider to pitch away with it."
The Braves have not drawn a walk in two games entering Saturday's action, but McLouth doesn't think they need to change their approach at the plate as a means to get more guys on base.
"No not really," he said. "Because then you start being passive, missing your pitches to hit. You want to be aggressive and not miss your pitch when you can get it."
Right-hander Peter Moylan successfully underwent surgery to repair a bulging disc in his back earlier this week. The surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles, and Moylan is scheduled to fly back to Atlanta on Sunday. He is not expected to return before the All-Star break. ... As part of the Angels' 50th Anniversary, Braves radio broadcaster Don Sutton will throw out Sunday's honorary first pitch at Angel Stadium. Sutton won the 300th game of his career on June 18, 1986, with the Angels.
David Ely is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.