Giants-Astros Preview

Tim Hudson has struggled against AL opponents since coming to the National League. Perhaps a matchup with the junior circuit's newest member - a club he's dominated more than any other - can help him avoid interleague infamy.

He'll try to lead the San Francisco Giants to a sweep of this two-game series with the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday night.

Hudson (1-3, 4.50 ERA) is 9-20 with a 5.64 ERA in 32 interleague starts since joining Atlanta in 2005, a stark contrast from the success he enjoyed against the NL over six seasons with Oakland. He was 10-2 with a 2.50 ERA in 21 interleague games for the A's.

Another interleague loss would tie him with Derek Lowe and Barry Zito for the most all-time.

Hudson won his lone start against an AL club this year, though, giving up three runs on two homers over a season-best eight-plus innings in a 5-4 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on May 2.

He's 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA in seven career starts against the Astros for his lowest mark versus any opponent. The right-hander hasn't faced them since they've joined the AL though, last matching up Aug. 3, 2012.

Hudson needs to recover from a 7-2 loss to Miami on Thursday in which he gave up six runs and 15 hits over 6 2-3 innings, the most hits allowed by a Giant since Gaylord Perry yielded 16 on Sept. 28, 1968.

The 39-year-old put together four quality starts in his first five outings.

"He made a few more mistakes than he normally does," manager Bruce Bochy said.

San Francisco (17-16) had scored three runs or fewer in four of five before winning 8-1 Tuesday. The Giants outhit the Astros 11-2 and were 4 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

Angel Pagan was 3 for 5 while Matt Duffy was 3 for 4 with five RBIs, the most by a San Francisco rookie since Buster Posey's six July 7, 2010, at Milwaukee. Duffy is 10 for 20 over his last six games with eight runs driven in.

"I'm just seeing the ball well and not thinking too much," he said.

The Astros (20-13) are in danger of losing five straight at home for the first time and have dropped six of eight overall, scoring seven runs in the losses and striking out 34 times in their last three games.

They're hoping to get George Springer back Wednesday following a minor league rehab assignment. Springer, who went on the seven-day concussion list after hitting the wall last week versus Texas, has hit .192 with four home runs and 10 steals in 27 games.

Brett Oberholtzer will make his delayed season debut after being slowed by a blister on his left index finger. He was 5-13 with a 4.39 ERA in 24 starts last year, a disappointment after he was 4-5 with a 2.76 ERA as a rookie in 2013.

The left-hander threw 5 1-3 shutout innings for Triple-A Fresno in a 7-3 victory over El Paso last Wednesday.

"Obviously, the adrenaline will kick in and major league pitches can be a little different than minor league pitches," manager A.J. Hinch told MLB's official website. "All in all, I would expect him to go in the 85 to 90 (pitch) range, if not better. It depends on how efficient he is."

Colby Rasmus is 6 for 14 with two homers and a double off Hudson.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.