LOS ANGELES -- Things were getting better, he was sure of it. The pitches sharper, the command improved.
Daniel Hudson had a less than spectacular start to his 2016 season, during one eight-game stretch allowing 10 runs in 6 1/3 innings.
But Hudson is in his eighth Major League season and has seen all the ups and downs baseball has to offer. And then there were his last four games, when he had not allowed a run in 3 2/3 innings.
So when he took the mound to start the 10th inning of Tuesday night's 4-3 loss to the Dodgers with the score tied, 3-3, he was feeling renewed confidence. Even when catcher Yasmani Grandal opened with a single, he came back to strike out the next two hitters.
"I was throwing great," Hudson said. "I've felt like I've been throwing well for a while."
The Dodgers used pitcher Thomas Stripling to pinch-run for Grandal and Austin Barnes -- their last remaining position pitcher -- pinch-hit for closer Kenley Jansen.
Barnes laced a double into the right-center gap to score Stripling, and the Dodgers had completed a comeback to an odd game that featured an early no-hit bid and costly misplayed balls by both teams in the outfield.
"That wasn't the worst pitch I threw in that inning," Hudson said. "But he put a good swing on it."
The Dodgers had found a way to win, or perhaps from the Pittsburgh side, the Pirates had found a way to lose.
"When I was throwing poorly, I got hammered," Hudson said. "When I feel I'm throwing well, I'm getting hammered.
"You go through stretches in baseball. I'll come out of this."
Hudson is now 1-2 with a 5.54 ERA on the season, uncharacteristic numbers for someone who entered the season with a 3.88 ERA in the National League and nine saves in the last two seasons.
"It's just how baseball goes," he said. "You just wipe if off and come back tomorrow."
With the loss, the Pirates fell to 14-19, another tough loss added to a difficult start to the season. They had ended phenom Julio Urias' no-hit bid in the seventh and overcame a 2-0 deficit to take the lead in the eighth.
"You just keep battling back," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "You keep fighting and playing the game. That's the beauty of the game."
Only for it to all come undone against closer Tony Watson in the ninth and against Hudson in the 10th.
"It has to turn around for all of us," Hudson said. "A couple of breaks and we can take off."