Hudson gets thrill with first career save

Hudson gets thrill with first career save

ANAHEIM -- Daniel Hudson still wants to return to the starting rotation next season, but the D-backs right-hander had to admit he found pitching in the closer's role Sunday to be a fun experience.

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Hudson came on in relief of Rubby De La Rosa with runners on first and third and no outs in the ninth and stranded the inherited runners to pick up his first professional save. Actually, it was the first save of his life.

"It was definitely different," Hudson said. "Kind of a rush going in there in the ninth inning with guys on base. And you want to get out of that for the starter because he pitched so well. I was just trying not to do too much and just get one out at a time."

Hudson is coming back from a pair of Tommy John surgeries, and the D-backs are using him as a reliever this season with the hope that next year he can return to the rotation.

Brad Ziegler has gotten the bulk of the team's save opportunities, but he was unavailable Sunday. Hudson had been pitching in some late-inning situations, but not in the ninth for a save.

"Pitching these late-inning, one-run, two-run games lately, it's just a different adrenaline rush," he said. "As a starter you have pregame jitters and whatever and you can usually get through those in the first couple of innings and then it just kind of evens out. I had never really experienced anything like [Sunday] when I was in a starter's role."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.