D-backs’ struggles continue in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO — The Arizona Diamondbacks have endured four openers, and they’re 0-4.
They lost in Australia to the Dodgers, and at home last week to the Giants, then at Coors Field for the Rockies’ home opener, and again at AT&T Park on Tuesday as the Giants kicked off their home schedule with a 7-3 win.
"Can we get one more in?" D-backs manager Kirk Gibson quipped, noting the March 22 game in Sydney feels like two months ago.
Trevor Cahill (0-3) surrendered a first-inning two-run homer to Brandon Belt and struggled again, as Tim Husdon (2-0) shut down the Arizona offense for the second time in seven days.
"It’s tough. It seemed like things were beginning to turn around and it gets away," Cahill said. "It’s frustrating. It seemed like when I got ahead I couldn’t put them away and everybody else I was pitching from behind. As a pitching staff we need to go deeper into the game. We need to do a better job."
Michael Morse hit a two-run single to back Hudson as each made memorable home debuts with their new team.
Hudson tossed an eight-inning gem in his first outing at AT&T Park since agreeing to a $23 million, two-year contract in November. He credits nice weather in Phoenix and the Bay Area in allowing him to work deep into the game his first two starts, a far cry from the heat and humidity he faced in Atlanta the past nine years.
Belt’s drive off Cahill gave him five homers and the Giants a majors-leading 12. San Francisco scored four runs with two outs.
"We had our chances," Gibson said. "We weren’t able to hold them down. We weren’t able to get the big two-out hits like they did."
Nearly nine months after ending his 2013 season with a broken right ankle, Hudson followed up 7 2/3 scoreless innings at Arizona last Wednesday with another strong outing. He allowed three runs — two earned — and seven hits with four strikeouts and no walks in a 101-pitch performance.
"It’s hard to pitch better than he did the first two starts," manager Bruce Bochy said.
Hudson stayed strong into the late innings, getting through a perfect, seven-pitch seventh with six strikes and a trio of groundballs. It was Hudson’s longest outing since also tossing eight innings on June 26, 2012, with the Braves against the D-backs. He is still working to build up his fitness and stamina to avoid fatigue.
"It’s been a long road for me to get here," Hudson said. "I’m just thrilled to be back out there pitching and competing, feeling somewhat healthy. I couldn’t ask for a better start to the year."
Mark Trumbo failed to homer, ending his streak of games with home runs at four, which tied the club record. He also lost the ball in left-center on Morse’s double.
Brandon Crawford followed with a two-run single.
"I tried to hang on as long I possibly could," Trumbo said. "It came out too late to make an adjustment. I was staring right into the sun and had an idea of where it was so I went to where I thought it was."
Cahill, who received no runs of support in his first two starts, gave up five runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Belt’s nine homers against Arizona are his most against any team.