It may also help that the veteran is facing the San Francisco Giants .
Hudson looks to continue his dominance of the Giants as the Braves go for a fifth win in six games Friday night.
Gonzalez has left the team to travel to his daughter's graduation from Georgia Southern on Saturday morning. He'll fly from San Francisco to Atlanta, then to Savannah before renting a car and driving another 45 minutes to Statesboro.
"I couldn't be any further away," Gonzalez said of playing out West. "Hey, whatever it takes, if you've got to take Stagecoach or Pony Express to go see your daughter graduate college, you've got to do it."
In the meantime, Gonzalez will be replaced by bench coach Carlos Tosca, who went 191-191 as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2002-04.
Tosca's job might be made a bit easier by handing the ball to Hudson (4-1, 3.83 ERA), who is 6-0 with a 2.25 ERA over his last 10 starts against the Giants, including a win in Game 3 of the 2010 NL division series.
The right-hander has also won his last two games at AT&T Park, allowing three runs in 15 2-3 innings.
Hudson enters this visit looking for a third straight win for the first time since a four-game run July 19-Aug. 3. That started with a 3-2 victory over the Giants, yielding two runs in 7 1-3 innings.
He's allowed four runs with 13 strikeouts over 14 1-3 innings in his last two starts overall. However, both of those came at home, and he's 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA in three road games.
Atlanta (21-13) has won four of five, hitting .310 with eight homers while totaling 29 runs in those victories. The club has also taken six of eight at San Francisco.
Brian McCann is getting comfortable at the plate after he had three hits, including a homer, and three RBIs Thursday in just his third game back from undergoing shoulder surgery in October.
"To be where I'm at, honestly, if you'd told me this a month ago that I'd be feeling this good, I wouldn't have believed you," McCann said.
He's batting .340 with three homers and 10 RBIs during a 12-game hitting streak versus San Francisco.
The Giants, losers of three of four, are hoping Matt Cain (1-2, 5.57) can build on his first win of 2013, by continuing his own success against the Braves.
The right-hander is 3-1 with a 1.35 ERA over his last five starts against them, including the playoffs. However, Cain's only loss in that stretch came opposite Hudson in a 3-0 defeat at Atlanta on Aug. 7, 2010.
He was sharp Sunday, yielding one run in 7 1-3 innings of a 4-3 win over the Dodgers after compiling a 6.49 ERA over his first six games.
"It wasn't something I was proud of," Cain said. "I just wasn't pitching well for the guys. I needed to step it up."
Buster Posey certainly does his part against the Braves, hitting .481 with 10 RBIs in the past seven meetings. He had two hits and three RBIs Thursday, getting two on his fifth home run.
Posey is batting .373 with four homers and 17 of his 22 RBIs at home, and he's 6 for 10 versus Hudson, including the postseason.
|May 05, 2013||Juan Francisco||Day-to-Day||Sprained right ankle|
|April 25, 2013||Luis Ayala||15-Day DL||Anxiety disorder|
|April 23, 2013||Jason Heyward||Day-to-Day||Appendectomy|
|April 21, 2013||Jason Heyward||15-Day DL||Appendectomy|
|April 20, 2013||Dan Uggla||Day-to-Day||Left game - left calf strain|
|April 20, 2013||Blake DeWitt||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|San Francisco Giants|
|May 08, 2013||Santiago Casilla||Day-to-Day||Left game - right knee|
|May 04, 2013||Angel Pagan||Day-to-Day||Strained right hamstring|
|April 15, 2013||Jeremy Affeldt||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|April 15, 2013||Jeremy Affeldt||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|April 13, 2013||Angel Pagan||Day-to-Day||Right wrist soreness|
|March 22, 2013||Brett Pill||15-Day DL||Recovery from minor knee surgery|
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Facing Tim Hudson usually means bad news for the San Francisco Giants .
They turned the tables Friday night in an 8-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves , beating the veteran right-hander for the first time in seven years.
The Giants drove Hudson from the game in a six-run fourth inning that represented their biggest rally of the season.
That support proved plenty for Matt Cain (2-2), who went eight innings and turned in his second straight stellar outing after going winless over his first six starts.
The Giants' ace allowed just three hits and chipped in with an RBI single during the six-run rally. His effort was badly needed for a rotation that came in having posted just 16 quality starts in 35 games.
"When you get some run support like I did tonight, against a guy that's done what he's done in his career, that's always nice," Cain said. "It's always a battle with him."
The Giants hadn't beaten Hudson since April 8, 2006, a span during which he was 6-0 with a 2.48 ERA against San Francisco.
Hudson (4-2) was cruising until the fourth, when the Giants batted around and scored six runs. That rally featured two hits by Marco Scutaro , including a two-run single.
Buster Posey split the left-center gap with an RBI double to kickstart things. Hunter Pence dribbled an infield single to score another and Brandon Belt chopped a run-scoring double over Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman .
Brandon Crawford was intentionally walked with one out to load the bases for Cain, who stepped to the plate 0 for 11 on the season. He grounded a single through the right side to make it 4-0, and Scutaro capped the rally with a two-run single to left to drive Hudson from the game.
The six runs and seven hits were the most the Giants have managed in any single inning this season. Hudson tied his season high with six runs allowed in 3 2-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.
"Obviously it was a nightmare inning," Hudson said. "I made very good pitches to get the inning going and then it seemed when I needed a break here or there, their balls just found some holes. I had a hard time stopping the bleeding."
The Braves did their only damage off Cain when Brian McCann crushed a two-run homer to right in the fifth. It marked the 26th time an opponent knocked one into McCovey Cove on the fly, and it was the 88th "splash hit" overall since AT&T Park opened in 2000.
Cain delivered his best start of the season despite taking a liner off his hip from the bat of McCann in the second. He recovered and chased the ball down by the first-base line and got the out.
"What a great job, a clutch job," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We needed a lot of length from our starter tonight and he did more than that. Eight solid innings - especially after getting hit."
McCann was the bright spot for Atlanta. After missing the first 31 games of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery, he's 5 for 16 with two homers and seven RBI in four games.
"I've felt good since spring training and I carried it into the season and on my rehab stints," McCann said.
NOTES: Scutaro has a 10-game hitting streak during which he's hitting .487 (19 for 39). However, his sore back acted up during the game and Bochy wasn't sure if the second baseman would play Saturday. ... Struggling Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong will make his next start as scheduled Wednesday at Toronto, Bochy said. There was speculation that Vogelsong, 1-3 with a 7.78 ERA, might be skipped for a turn. ... Madison Bumgarner , who takes the ball Saturday against Atlanta, has received just four runs of support over his last four starts. ... Carlos Tosca served as the Braves' interim manager Friday in place of Fredi Gonzalez and will do so again Saturday, with Gonzalez in Georgia to attend his daughter's college graduation. ... Right fielder Jason Heyward did not play Friday for Triple-A Gwinnett, one day after beginning a rehab assignment following his emergency appendectomy April 22. GM Frank Wren said Heyward was experiencing "normal soreness" after the long layoff. ... Left-hander Paul Maholm , who starts Saturday, is 2-2 with a 3.43 ERA in nine career starts against the Giants.