Hudson's solid start results in painful loss
Giants starter takes comebacker off leg, allows two runs in seven innings
SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Hudson assumed the role of hard-luck loser again Wednesday, as he threw seven sharp innings in a 5-2 loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
While the Giants were swept for just the second time all year, it was through no fault of Hudson's. Aside from his stellar pitching performance, the veteran right-hander even connected for a double and scored his team's first run.
"I felt like I gave us a pretty good chance to win," Hudson said. "Runs were going to be hard to come by. It wasn't a fun day out there for me, by any means. There was a lot of battling going on."
Making things worse, Hudson was hit hard in his right leg by a line drive from Jordy Mercer in the third inning.
"It got me in this massive quad," Hudson jokingly said.
Hudson conceded that his leg would tighten up between innings and that he could feel some discomfort while pushing off the rubber. Still, he finished seven innings for the second straight start, allowing two earned runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out six.
"I felt really, really good up to that point," Hudson said of the comebacker. "After that it was a battle, just trying to work through that a little bit. It is what it is. Everyone has little nicks and bruises throughout the games and throughout the season."
Mercer came back to hurt Hudson in a big way in the fifth inning, when he belted a solo shot to left field to put the Pirates ahead, 2-1. The lead held until Pittsburgh pushed across three more runs against the Giants' bullpen in the ninth.
Perhaps it's no surprise that the offense didn't score many runs against Pirates southpaw Francisco Liriano, who tossed seven innings of one-run ball. Hudson belted a ground-rule double off Liriano in the third -- his first double since April 30, 2013 -- before scoring on Joe Panik's RBI single later in the inning.
"He's lucky it didn't go out of the park," Hudson said with a smile. "That's all I got, obviously. That's the best swing I've put on a ball in a while. I'll take it."
In the 11 games Hudson has started this year, the Giants have averaged just 2.45 runs.
"Any time you can't get enough runs, you're down 2-1 and your starter gives up two [runs] in seven [innings], sure, it's a little frustrating," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He did his job. It's not an easy matchup."