Tim Hudson will turn 39 years old in July and was coming off a major injury when the San Francisco Giants took a chance and signed him to a multiyear contract in the offseason.
The veteran is showing he still has plenty of solid innings left in his arm.Hudson takes the mound as the visiting Giants look to get their offense back on track Saturday night against the San Diego Padres.After his 2013 season ended in July with a fractured right ankle suffered while pitching for Atlanta, Hudson signed a two-year, $23 million contract with a San Francisco team looking to improve a pitching staff that finished near the bottom of the NL in ERA.Hudson (2-0, 2.35 ERA) has been solid so far, pitching into the eighth inning in all three outings. He gave up four runs over 7 1/3 on Sunday before Brandon Crawford's 10th-inning homer gave the Giants a 5-4 win over Colorado.The right-hander, though, was charged with two runs in the eighth that tied it."I would have been sick if we had lost this game because I felt like I had a pretty good game, and then in the eighth inning we were tied up," Hudson said.The Giants have issued a major league-low 34 walks, and Hudson holds the season-opening franchise record by tossing 23 innings without one. Opponents are hitting .185 against him.Hudson is 5-1 with a 1.75 ERA in his last eight starts against the Padres, who won Friday's series opener 2-1. It was the eighth straight one-run game for the Giants, their most since also having a run of eight in August 1910.San Francisco (10-7) has a 1.42 ERA over the last four games but has scored seven runs. Brandon Belt's ninth-inning homer was all it could muster Friday.Buster Posey and Michael Morse sat out for some rest. Posey is 1 for 18 over his last six, while Morse is 2 for 17 in that stretch.Manager Bruce Bochy said they'll be play in this contest against San Diego (8-9), which has won six of nine.Chris Denorfia has gone 2 for 4 in three straight games, and his solid performances are coming at a good time. Chase Headley hasn't been in the starting lineup for any of those contests due to a strained right biceps, and it's unclear how long he'll be out.The Padres also have been getting some solid pitching, ranking near the top of the majors with a 2.78 ERA. That number could be even better if Eric Stults can get on track.Stults (0-2, 5.52) gave up four runs and nine hits in five innings of a 5-4 win over the Rockies on Monday. He's allowed 21 hits in 14 2/3 innings, with opponents hitting .328.Stults made six starts against the Giants in 2013, going 2-2 with a 5.91 ERA as Hunter Pence went 6 for 17 with two homers and a double off him. Crawford also hit a pair of homers off Stults, and Pablo Sandoval is 12 for 22 with three doubles and a triple lifetime against him.San Diego has won four of the last five home meetings with San Francisco.
Tim Hudson ranks fifth in baseball this season throwing 58 percent of his pitches in the lower third of the strike zone or below. The Padres are hitting .176 in at-bats to end on a pitch in that zone this season, second worst in baseball.