LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Tim Hudson admitted he was a little nervous before making his spring debut in Monday's 8-2 loss to the Mets, but you wouldn't have picked up on any apprehension given the way he pitched.
In his first game action since undergoing back surgery last November, Hudson pitched two nearly perfect innings, giving up one hit and striking out two batters. He threw 25 pitches, 16 of them for strikes, and used everything in his arsenal. He said he threw cutters, curveballs, and even got a strikeout with the only splitter he tossed.
"It felt normal," Hudson said. "Honestly, I went out there and tried to pitch like I was in a real game. I was trying to make pitches and get some swings and misses. I wasn't really trying to finesse around anything. At this point, I need to see where I'm at. And so far, so good.
"I feel better right now, in this first Spring Training game, than I normally do in my first Spring Training game. ... I feel like I'm a little bit ahead of the game in that aspect."
Hudson will increase his workload by an inning each time he pitches. His next outing is scheduled for Saturday with Class A Rome against the Charleston RiverDogs. He'll make another start with the Rome Braves after that, throwing four innings.
The 36-year-old right-hander said he felt like he could have pitched another inning Monday, but it would have been perhaps too physically taxing, as he could already feel his legs wearing down toward the end of his second inning. He has thrown as many as 40 pitches during live batting practice, but he is still building up arm strength and endurance in order to rejoin the Braves' rotation some time in late April or early May.
"He was excited," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He mixed all his pitches. I'm sure he probably didn't think he was as sharp as he should have been, but I thought he was. For the first time in a while, and getting out there in front of a crowd, it was good. I was happy for him."
Braves reliever Martinez arrested for DUI
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Braves reliever Cristhian Martinez was arrested early Monday morning and charged with DUI, according to Gwinnett County Detention Center records.
Martinez, 30, was charged with DUI with more than 0.10 percent blood alcohol, an improper lane change and impeding the flow of traffic. The legal blood-alcohol level in Georgia is .08.
The Braves released a statement Monday, saying: "We were very concerned to learn of the arrest of Cristhian Martinez in Gwinnett County this morning. We will require him to be evaluated by an independent professional, as provided for in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Until we learn further details and have all the facts, we will withhold further comment at this time."
Martinez was booked at 4:24 a.m. ET on Monday morning and released at 10:41 a.m, according to the Gwinnett County Sheriff's website. His bond was set at $1,501 for the DUI and $63 for each of the other two charges.
Martinez left Braves camp early, along with several of his fellow pitchers, to return home and prepare for Tuesday night's exhibition contest against the Braves' Minor League "Futures" squad at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, Ga.
The right-hander earned a spot in Atlanta's bullpen heading into the season, allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out 13 batters in 13 innings of work this spring.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez echoed the team's official statement Monday, saying he would wait to learn all the details regarding the incident before making any further decisions about Martinez.
"It's just disappointing," Gonzalez said. "I'm sure he made a mistake and all that kind of stuff, but as an organization, we don't like our name in the paper behind that kind of stuff. He'll get an earful tomorrow."
Newly acquired third baseman Juan Francisco arrived at Braves camp on Monday, the club's getaway day, and was in the starting lineup, playing third and batting sixth. He played all nine innings at third and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He struck out in his first at-bat after working a 3-1 count then fouling off three straight pitches.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez was impressed with Francisco, having seen him play nine innings for the first time. Gonzalez thought Francisco's at-bats were impressive, especially considering the fact that Francisco had a whirlwind 24 hours after getting traded and immediately making the trip from Arizona to Florida, then finding himself in the lineup.
Freddie Freeman punctuated an excellent spring Monday by going 2-for-3 with his seventh Grapefruit League home run. Freeman, who has said all along that he's not worried about a sophomore slump after finishing second in the 2011 National League Rookie of the Year Award voting, exited Monday's game with a .295 average, .356 on-base percentage, .603 slugging percentage and 15 RBIs this spring.
"He's been hot," Gonzalez said. "Let's take that bottle and put a cap on it and start the season right now."
Gonzalez said right fielder Jason Heyward, who sat out Monday after only one at-bat Sunday, was fine and should be in the lineup for Tuesday's exhibition against the Braves' "Futures" squad at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, Ga.