The San Francisco Giants have yet to lose a home game started by Tim Hudson, something the team will look to fall back on as it tries to overcome its recent struggles at AT&T Park and Hudson's worst outing in a Giants uniform.
The veteran takes the mound Tuesday night against the San Diego Padres as the Giants try to avoid a series loss to begin a 10-game homestand.The Padres (33-44) handed the Giants (45-31) a 6-0 defeat Monday, the fourth straight home defeat for San Francisco and its seventh in eight games. Still, San Diego has lost eight of 10 on the road this month with 22 runs and a .177 batting average.It also hasn't won a series in San Francisco since taking two of three from Oct. 1-3, 2010. The Giants are 19-7 in their last 26 at home against the Padres, but they seem to be playing down to their level of competition this season with an 18-18 mark against opponents under .500.The Giants have dropped 10 of their last 13 with a 5.58 ERA from their rotation, but they're 7-0 at AT&T Park with Hudson taking the ball.Hudson (7-3, 2.39 ERA) is 5-0 with a 2.16 ERA at home, where he'll happily return to after his worst start of the season. The right-hander allowed seven runs and 12 hits in 4 2/3 innings of Wednesday's 7-6 loss to the Chicago White Sox."It's frustrating, no doubt about it," Hudson said.He's 7-2 with a 2.71 ERA in 14 starts against the Padres, including a 3-2 home victory April 30 in which he surrendered two runs in 8 2/3 innings.Cameron Maybin is 7 for 19 with a home run against him while Will Venable (4 for 20), Everth Cabrera (4 for 19), Chase Headley (3 for 19) and Seth Smith (2 for 15) have struggled.Hudson will be opposed by rookie Jesse Hahn, who will try to continue a strong stretch of pitching for the Padres. San Diego has compiled a 1.67 ERA in the last six games, going 4-2. The bullpen has allowed three runs in 25 innings over the last 10 contests.Hahn (2-1, 2.16) struggled in his major league debut June 3 but has been dominant in two wins since, surrendering an unearned run in 13 innings while striking out 14 with a .133 opponents' batting average. In Thursday's 4-1 victory over Seattle, the right-hander allowed five hits in seven innings for his longest outing."He's not afraid to throw any pitch in any count," pitching coach Darren Balsley told MLB's official website. "That's pretty rare for a young pitcher."Headley (back) has missed four straight games but could return Tuesday.Giants outfielder Angel Pagan, who leads the club with a .307 average, missed his seventh straight contest with back stiffness.The banged-up Giants could also have first baseman Brandon Belt and second baseman Marco Scutaro back before long as the players embark on rehab stints this week."After sitting here for six-plus weeks," Belt said, "it's nice to see that the end is near -- in a good way."