Hudson does it with shadows and defense

Hudson does it with shadows and defense

SAN DIEGO -- The Giants' 1-0, 12-inning victory Thursday over the San Diego Padres was a classic collaboration.

Anybody remotely familiar with the reigning World Series champions surely recognized their style: competent starting pitching, followed by suffocating relief and supplemented by precise, even spectacular defense.

Tim Hudson, 39 years young, walked five and allowed five hits in 6 1/3 innings but held San Diego hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position.

"It was a good day to pitch -- a good time of day, obviously," Hudson said, referring to the scheduled 3:40 p.m. PT starting time, which cast shadows and glare around Petco Park in the Padres' home opener. "It probably wasn't the easiest time of day to see some pitches, but as pitchers, we have to try to take advantage of it."

San Francisco's bullpen certainly did, as six relievers combined to yield two hits while walking none.

Right-hander George Kontos, who earned the decision with a 1 2/3-inning stint, articulated the determination that the relievers shared.

"For the guy over there who pitched his heart out today," Kontos said, gesturing toward Hudson in the visitors' clubhouse, "you want to make sure that his effort and the efforts of the guys in front of you don't go to waste."

Third baseman Casey McGehee committed a pair of errors. But those miscues were obscured by four double plays, including three behind Hudson, whose sinking fastball neutralized the Padres.

The most impressive play was started by shortstop Brandon Crawford in the fifth inning. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Crawford dove to snare Jedd Gyorko's grounder up the middle and shoveled the ball from his glove to second baseman Joe Panik, who threw to first to complete the twin killing.

Crawford dives to start DP

Crawford wasn't showing off.

"I felt more comfortable with the glove flip than having to go into the glove with my hand and then flip it," he said. "Better chance of a double play that way."

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.