LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – At least Tim Hudson could laugh afterwards.
“I was working on backing up bases,” the veteran pitcher said.
Hudson labored through five innings in the Braves’ 10-2 loss to the Miami Marlins on Sunday, giving up six runs on nine hits. He hit two batters and walked one.
The right-hander threw 97 pitches after needing 79 to make it through four innings against the New York Mets in his previous start.
“I’m definitely getting my work in,” Hudson said.
Miami's Chone Figgins, signed to a minor league deal after his release by Seattle, was 4-for-4, scored twice and had two RBIs.
“I’m smiling again,” said Figgins, a bust with the Mariners after signing a four-year, $36-million deal as a free agent before the 2010 season. “It was tough in Seattle, really tough. But I feel like everything is good now. This is another chance and I’m happy.”
Marlins starter Wade LeBlanc pitched four scoreless innings, giving up five hits and walking none as he ran his scoreless streak in Grapefruit League games to nine innings. The left-hander, who threw 28 of his 42 pitches for strikes, is competing with John Maine and Kevin Slowey for the final spot in the Miami rotation.
“It was good to see him pound the strike zone against a good lineup,” manager Mike Redmond said of LeBlanc. “He’s had a great spring. He’s definitely made a case for a spot in the rotation.”
Figgins, who hit .181 last season for Seattle, is competing for a backup role at second and third base and can also play shortstop and the outfield. He came in with just two hits in 14 at-bats, but raised his spring average from .143 to .333.
“He fits the utility-role need for us,” Redmond said. “It was good to see him come out and get some big hits.”
The Marlins ended up with 15 hits, including a three-run homer by Marcell Ozuna in the first inning and a two-run shot in the seventh by fellow outfield prospect Christian Yelich. Chris Coghlan had two singles and a double, raising his average to .344 (11 for 32).
It was the second straight rough outing for Hudson, who will go into the season three short of 200 career victories. His spring ERA is 6.43 in four starts.
“I really felt good, believe it or not,” said Hudson, who is trying to find his curveball. “The last couple of starts have been a train wreck from a production standpoint.”
B.J. Upton was 3-for-3 for the Braves and is hitting .382 (13-for-34). Jason Heyward went 2-for-3 to break out of a 0-for-14 streak.
NOTES: Braves reliever Jonny Venters gave up two runs in the sixth, but both were unearned because of an error by 3B Chris Johnson. … Paul Maholm will make his fourth spring start for the Braves on Monday against Washington in Viera. Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to pitch for the Nationals. … The Braves and Marlins play for the third and final time this spring Wednesday night in Jupiter.