LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Tim Hudson took another positive step on Thursday, when he threw live batting practice for the first time this year. The Braves veteran pitcher has been behind schedule as he has been recovering from back surgery performed on Nov. 30.
"It felt really good," Hudson said. "I got tired there at the end. I had a little extra adrenaline with hitters in there. I think that little extra adrenaline gets me feeling like game speed. It's coming out really good. I was really encouraged about how it was coming out of my hand. I felt like my stuff was pretty good for the first day out there."
Hudson will throw a five-minute bullpen session and five minutes of live batting practice again on Sunday. The 36-year-old veteran is scheduled to take another step on Wednesday, when his live batting practice session is lengthened to 10 minutes. At that point, he will have a better idea about when he might make his first appearance in what would likely be a Minor League game.
Beachy trying to harness offspeed command
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Brandon Beachy knows that he must attack the strike zone more aggressively to pitch deeper into games much more consistently than he did last year. But as he was reminded during Thursday's 5-5, 10-inning tie with the Marlins at Champion Stadium, the added aggression could hurt him if his secondary pitches are not working.
Struggling to command his changeup and slider, Beachy allowed four earned runs and nine hits in five innings. He surrendered seven of those hits before recording the second out in the third inning.
"There were definitely some situations where I was trying to pitch to contact and I just wasn't as sharp with the changeup and slider," Beachy said. "I allowed a few extra of those hits to compound. When they add up, runs start to tally up on the board."
Beachy feels fortunate to have the chance to become a little sharper with at least two more starts during the exhibition season. He has issued just two walks in the nine innings he has completed since issuing five in three innings against the Cardinals on March 12.
"I take some positives away. I commanded my fastball better than I did the last time," Beachy said. "I'm doing a decent job of going in or out. I need to do a better job of getting it down now."
Tyler Pastornicky produced a clutch 10th-inning hit on Wednesday and then followed that up with a 4-for-5 game against the Marlins on Thursday. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he will continue alternating Pastornicky and Andrelton Simmons as his starting shortstop over the next week.
Freddie Freeman collected his first extra-base hits of the year with a double and home run against the Marlins. Freeman's three-hit performance in the game raised his Grapefruit League batting average from .174 to .216 (11-for-51).
Cory Gearrin enhanced his bid for an Opening Day roster spot by tossing two scoreless innings against the Marlins. The sidearm reliever, who has added a changeup to his arsenal, has not allowed an earned run in 8 1/3 innings this exhibition season.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.