PHOENIX -- Though this wasn't quite the finale for Tim Hudson, it certainly was special -- from both sides of the plate.
Hudson worked six effective innings in his first start since July 26 and contributed a homer to San Francisco's five-run third inning to help the Giants outlast the D-backs, 6-2, on Tuesday at Chase Field. The win -- coupled with a Dodgers win in Anaheim -- kept the Giants 8 1/2 games back in the NL West.
Hudson (7-8), who reiterated his intent to retire after this season, surrendered one run and four hits in his 221st career victory, the most among active pitchers. The 40-year-old right-hander showed no signs of his layoff as he fashioned four 1-2-3 innings.
"If there were a 10-man rotation out there somewhere, I'd be pretty good," Hudson jokingly said.
Once Hudson left, the D-backs added a run when catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia went deep, his sixth of the season. But Arizona wouldn't threaten after that.
A stint on the disabled list with what was officially called a shoulder strain began Hudson's layoff, which was prolonged by the Giants' desire to rest him after a three-start stretch in which he recorded a 6.32 ERA and yielded 22 hits in 15 2/3 innings. Except for two relief outings last week totaling 2 1/3 innings, Hudson had done little more than throw off a bullpen mound a couple of times since that July 26 start.
"That just goes to show you how much feel he has for pitching," Giants catcher Buster Posey said.
And hitting. Hudson became the oldest Giants pitcher to hit a home run since Steve Carlton hit one July 21, 1986 at age 41.
"I don't think I've taken batting practice for probably two months," Hudson said. "BP's overrated."
Gregor Blanco and Joe Panik also homered for the Giants, who had lost eight of their previous 10 games. Blanco's clout led off the big third inning against Arizona starter Chase Anderson (6-5). Panik homered in the ninth for San Francisco's final run.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Back-to-back jacks: The Giants opened the scoring in the third inning in unlikely fashion -- by receiving their fourth set of back-to-back homers this year. Moreover, the big flies were clobbered by the eighth- and ninth-place hitters. After Blanco led off with his fifth homer of the season, Hudson planted a fastball in the left-field seats for his fourth career round-tripper.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Giants hit back-to-back home runs with one of the home runs hit by a pitcher was May 25, 1979 at Candlestick Park. Catcher Mike Sadek and left-hander Bob Knepper hit consecutive home runs off Phil Niekro in the fourth inning.
Socrates milestone: D-backs rookie outfielder Socrates Brito made his big league debut in the bottom of the third and delivered an infield single in his first Major League at-bat. The D-backs hope Brito, who was just promoted from Double-A, will push for a starting job in the outfield next spring.
"Socrates got his first Major League hit. He hustled," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "That's a good thing."
Belting one: First baseman Brandon Belt drove in the final run in San Francisco's big third with a two-out double. It was a welcome event for Belt, who entered the game batting .192 (5-for-26) with eight strikeouts in six games on the club's current trip. He also had just four extra-base hits in his previous 102 plate appearances, a span of 24 games.
Peralta pushes limits: D-backs left fielder David Peralta has been praised for his intensity on the field, but his eagerness came back to haunt him when he was thrown out at third base after an eventful sequence of events in the fourth inning.
The play started with a pop out by Jake Lamb to Giants third baseman Matt Duffy in deep foul territory for the second out. Paul Goldschmidt scored from third on the play and Peralta raced from second base to third when the throw from Duffy skipped away from catcher Buster Posey. Peralta rounded the bag too far and was thrown out by Posey to end the frame.
Undaunted, Peralta made a sliding catch on a sinking liner off the bat of Posey for the first out of the fifth inning.
"He plays with as much intensity as anybody that I've experienced. He comes out there and gives you everything he's got every inning, every at-bat, defensively and on the bases. That shows me talent and a very strong mind. That's a great example for our club." -- D-backs Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa on Peralta
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Giants pitchers have now combined for seven home runs this season. (No other team has more than two this year.) According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time Giants pitchers combined for seven or more home runs in a season was 1955, when Johnny Antonelli hit four and Jim Hearn hit three.
With one out in the first inning, Panik drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch -- except the umpires didn't realize it immediately, having apparently lost track of the ball-strike count. Giants manager Bruce Bochy demanded a recount, so to speak, and the tape proved that Panik indeed walked.
WHAT'S NEXT Giants: San Francisco will attempt to end its three-city trip in winning fashion by calling upon Chris Heston to start the 6:40 p.m. contest against Arizona. Heston is 2-1 with a 1.45 ERA against the D-backs this year, but lost in his last appearance against them in a 4-0 setback on June 14.
D-backs: The D-backs will send Zack Godley to the mound in the final game of the series against the Giants in what is expected to be his last start of the season. The club plans on shifting him to the bullpen to limit his innings.