After a troubling outing from several San Francisco pitchers on Monday afternoon, Tim Hudson once again came out strong for the Giants, holding the Chicago Cubs scoreless in San Francisco’s 4-0 win on Tuesday night.
In his tenth start of the season, Hudson silenced the Cubs through seven innings, and was able to pitch around potential problems in several instances. Tuesday night marked the eighth time Hudson lasted seven or more innings, and it was the ninth out of his ten outings where he has allowed two runs or fewer.
“I was able to make some pitches whenever I needed to. I felt much better toward the end of the game. It’s nice to have that lead,” said Hudson. “I felt like I was getting into the groove in a little bit in the third or fourth inning.”
After being scratched from his May 16th start in Miami and a rain-shortened start in Colorado, the strong return to the mound was key for Hudson. He has been, by far, the best and most consistent starter of the Giants’ rotation. Hudson was able to continue his dominance tonight, helping the Giants improve their home starts to 5-0 with him on the mound.
“Huddy was Huddy, like he’d been going,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “He’s had quite a career to this point, and he has a lot of baseball left. We were really excited to get him to come out here, and this is why.”
The Giants got off to another early start, scoring two in the first inning after Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence each hit singles to get on base. Both were part of San Francisco’s fifth inning rally that added two more runs to the Giants’ lead. Pence in particular has been exceptionally strong for the Giants, hitting safely in his last 13 of 14 games with a .423 (22-for-52) average and four home runs during that time. Tonight Pence went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored to give San Francisco the win.
“When Pagan and Hunter have a lot of energy up there, they’re going to get their infield hits up there. It’s nice to have that at the top of the order, and really through the rest of the lineup,” said Bochy.
In that fifth-inning rally, Ehire Adrianza started things off by getting his first hit since May 6: an infield single he just beat out to first. The Giants’ rookie had a smooth night in the field, and his one hit was more than usual starter Brandon Hicks has had in his last ten at-bats.
“Adrianza had a nice game. It’s been a while since he had a start and he did a good job defensively, and got us going in that one inning,” said Bochy. “That was a big run in that point in the game.”
Adrianza and Pagan later scored off a sacrifice fly from Buster Posey and single off the bat of Pablo Sandoval.
The single secured a seven-game hit streak for Sandoval, who knocked in at least one run in each of those games. He has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games, batting .369 with five home runs during that time, and his 17 RBI in May are tied for third in the league.
“I’ll take everything to support my team, to get runs,” said Sandoval.
Tomorrow the Giants finish up this homestand with an afternoon game against the Cubs. Tim Lincecum will take on Edwin Jackson, who gave up two home runs in four batters and seven runs over two innings in his last start in San Diego on Friday.
First pitch at 12:45pm.