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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Hudson has a huge home debut in Giants win

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From page B3 | April 09, 2014 |

Brandon Crawford, Angel Pagan

San Francisco's Brandon Crawford, left, greets teammate Angel Pagan, right, at the end of a 7-3 victory over the Diamondbacks in the Giants' home opener on Tuesday. AP photo

SAN FRANCISCO — Tim Hudson walked to the dugout after an impressive eight-inning performance in his Giants home debut and hardly realized 42,000 people were celebrating him with a roaring ovation.

“Honestly, I thought they were cheering for the mid-inning song,” Hudson said.

Nope.

Michael Morse hit a two-run single to back Hudson as each made memorable home debuts with their new team, and Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer for San Francisco in a 7-3 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday.

Hudson (2-0) shut down the D-backs for the second time in seven days with an eight-inning gem in his first outing at AT&T Park since signing 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.

“Definitely I’ll take these first two starts,” he said.

Belt’s drive off Trevor Cahill (0-3) gave him five homers and the Giants a majors-leading 12.

New Giants left fielder Morse emphatically pumped his fist at first base after a third-inning single, then added a two-out double in the fifth. San Francisco scored four runs with two outs.

Belt became the first Giants player since Jose Cruz Jr. in 2003 to hit five home runs through the first eight games.

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,” said San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy.

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.”

Arizona has now dropped four openers this season. The Diamondbacks lost in Australia to the Dodgers, at home to the Giants, and at Coors Field.

“Can we get one more in?” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson quipped.

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.

“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.”

Cahill, who received no runs of support in his first two starts, gave up five runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Brandon Hicks earned the start at second base for the Giants and had a first-inning error that led to Arizona’s first run.

Notes: Angel Pagan doubled, singled and scored twice and has an eight-game hitting streak to start the year. … The Giants won their sixth straight home opener and are 12-3 opening AT&T Park. … Giants left-hander Jeremy Affeldt (right knee sprain) threw a 25-pitch bullpen and is set to play for Class-A San Jose on Thursday and likely Friday. “I’m healthy,” he said. … Belt’s nine homers against Arizona are his most against any team. … The first-pitch temperature of 73 degrees was the warmest for a Giants home opener since the club moved West in 1958. … A pair of Scotts threw out ceremonial first pitches — Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott and SFBatkid Miles Scott. In November, Scott — a young boy who has battled leukemia — took over the city as his favorite superhero to save Gotham through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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