LaRoche, D-backs rout Mets behind Hudson

LaRoche, D-backs rout Mets behind Hudson

NEW YORK -- D-backs interim manager Kirk Gibson said right-hander Daniel Hudson was nervous prior to his start Sunday.

If that was the case, he sure did a good job of hiding it during the game.

Hudson allowed just one run on three hits over eight innings as he pitched the D-backs past the Mets, 14-1, in his first appearance since coming to Arizona from the White Sox in a deal that included Edwin Jackson.

"If he pitches like that every time, we'll be happy," Gibson said with a smile. "He threw the ball well. I know he was really nervous, and then we got some runs and he settled in."

Hudson, who made three appearances with the White Sox this year and six last season, allowed back-to-back one-out singles in the first, and then did not allow another hit until there was one out in the eighth.

"I might have been a little nervous," Hudson said. "I mean, nobody likes to do bad the first time out for any team, so I was just a little jacked up there in the beginning, but I was able to settle down."

Consider his teammates' first impression of him a good one.

"Hudson came out and was unbelievable," said first baseman Adam LaRoche. "What can you say? That's not a real easy lineup. It was good to put some runs up there for him, give him a comfortable lead and watch him go."

Said third baseman Mark Reynolds: "He threw strikes, good sinker, pounded the zone, and that's what you've got to do to be successful. He did a great job today. He was locating well."

Hudson had LaRoche to thank for the run support. LaRoche hit three-run homers in both the fourth and fifth innings to get the offense rolling.

Meanwhile, Hudson was using primarily his fastball and changeup to carve through the Mets' lineup. His slider and curveball are still works in progress.

"I was able to throw some changeups in hitters counts, which maybe kept them off balance a little bit," Hudson said. "I didn't use too many breaking balls today. When you get that many runs scored for you, you realize you don't have to be perfect out there. Sometimes those things can turn around and bite you a little bit if you don't have good command, but I had decent command of a couple of pitches today and was able to get some quick outs."

Hudson's contribution was not limited to the mound. He capped a five-run fifth with a two-run single up the middle.

It was his first Major League hit. Heck, it was the first time he had swung a bat against live pitching since high school five years ago. After grounding out in his first two at-bats of the game, he hit a first-pitch fastball for the single.

"That's a cool experience," Hudson said. "I was happy to get it out of the way. The first down-and-away fastball [I saw] seemed like four feet away. By the third time up there, I was like, 'If he throws me a strike, I'm going to swing at it and try to get a base hit.'"

Hudson was able to hold Mets third baseman David Wright in check. Wright, who drove in nine runs in the first two games of the series, was 0-for-3 against Hudson before picking up a single in the ninth off Esmerling Vasquez.

"There's obviously not a lot of tape on the guy," Wright said. "And by the time you're up there trying to make adjustments, he's throwing strikes and you're down 0-2, 1-2."

With the win, the D-backs took two of three from the Mets in the weekend series and raised their record to 5-1 against New York this year.

In fact, since the All-Star break, the D-backs are 5-11, with all of the wins coming against the Mets.

"I have no answer for that," Gibson said when asked to explain his team's success against the Mets. "We haven't played well in general, but we've been fortunate against the Mets. I'm sure the Mets have someone's number. I think they play Atlanta pretty good, don't they? Atlanta beats up on everybody, so it's just baseball."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.