The additions to the Giants roster this season has proved to be more than successful thus far. When Cakes’ the Distance” was played to start the ninth inning, Tim Hudson received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd at AT&T Park.
“He just put on a clinic,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He stayed down the whole game, had good movement, changed speeds and threw strike one. If you want to show young pitchers how to do it, that’s how you do it.”
Hudson was one out away from going the distance but Yasmani Grandal’s solo home run splashed in McCovey’s Cove was the end of his night. Closer Sergio Romo forced the last batter to ground out and seal San Francisco’s 3-2 victory over the Padres.
“He’s had a great month,” Bochy said. “He’s been so consistent. Believe me, no one wanted him to get that complete game more than me. But I had my closer ready, he’s hot and well rested. I like to think I got him ready for a reason.”
Hudson has been the only consistent Giants pitcher for the month of April and not a bad start to his new team. His ERA of 2.17 has allowed two walks in 45 2/3 innings this season. His strikeout-to-walk ration is 15.5 to 1. He allowed two runs on five hits, striking out six without issuing one walk.
“He was throwing the ball down, down and away, down and in, slider action, good split,” Everth Cabrera said. “Hudson does a really good job of taking advantage of guys. He does his job.”
“You can’t let a guy like that get ahead of the count,” said Padres manager Bud Black. “He’ll really give you fits. Those pitches that were early count swings looked to me as though they were good spots, we just didn’t hit them.”
San Francisco completed the six-game homestead with a 5-1 record. The Giants have won six of their last seven games and seven of their last ten. The 17 wins in March/April are the most the team has had in the season’s opening month since 2003 (19 wins).
Hunter Pence hit a single and stole second in the first. Michael Morse hit a RBI double off the wall in right field to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. Morse drove in his 20th run of the season and is the fourth Giants player in the last 10 season to drive in 20-plus runs.
The bats stayed “hot” in the second, Brandon Hicks blasted a solo home run off the wall in right field. Hicks is the fourth Giants player with five home runs along with Brandon Belt, Morse and Buster Posey. Last year during the month of April, Brandon Crawford was the only player with five home runs.
“I’m just trying to take it one day at a time,” Hicks said after being asked about his successful month. “I’m just trying to focus on each aspect of the game. I’m getting more comfortable with the team and second base.”
San Francisco has homered in eight straight games, their longest streak since hitting ten straight late in 2010. The Giants have 34 home runs, the most in April since hitting 36 in April 2000. The team has won 17 games before May 1 for the first time since 2003.
“Its unrealistic to think it’s going to be like this all year,” Hudson said. “But I’m going to do all I can to keep it going.”