D-backs erupt to back Hudson in Texas

D-backs erupt to back Hudson in Texas

D-backs erupt to back Hudson in Texas
ARLINGTON -- Frustrated after the shortest start in his Major League career, D-backs right-hander Daniel Hudson threw an extra between-start bullpen session.

Still not satisfied, he threw another bullpen session, this one without a ball in the Texas heat on Wednesday afternoon.

The extra work appeared to pay off Thursday night, as Hudson helped pitch the D-backs past the Rangers, 11-3, at Rangers Ballpark.

With the win, the D-backs managed to avoid a sweep in the three-game series.

"You have to give credit to Hudson," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He kept us off balance. The guy is a Major League pitcher. He shut us down. There is nothing else to say about that."

Hudson (3-1) was making his fourth start after missing nearly six weeks due to an impingement in his shoulder. His first two starts after being activated were good, but it was his last one that stuck with him.

Against the weak-hitting A's, Hudson lasted just 1 2/3 innings and gave up six runs on eight hits.

This time around against the best-hitting team in the American League, Hudson gave up just three runs on five hits over seven innings.

"I don't know if it worked or not," Hudson said of the shadow throwing he did Wednesday. "Sometimes something just clicks, you do a couple of dry repetitions and something can click and your body and your mind, muscle-memory or something like that, you get back to basics. I figured it couldn't hurt. It couldn't get much worse than last time."

After being held to just one run in the first two games of the series, the D-backs' offense came alive against Scott Feldman (0-6).

Lyle Overbay paced the attack by going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs.

It was somewhat of a surprise that Arizona manager Kirk Gibson decided to put Overbay in the lineup in place of Paul Goldschmidt. After all, Overbay was just 3-for-18 in his career against Feldman.

"Just felt that it was time," Gibson said of giving Goldschmidt a day off. "I think Goldy had the 17-game hit streak. ... I thought I saw him pressing a little bit, so I thought it was time for Lyle."

While Overbay might not have known his specific numbers against Feldman, he was aware that they were not good.

"But I know why I wasn't successful off of him," Overbay said. "I know what he has. The numbers might not dictate how I feel. I think he threw a lot of cutters in on me, so I backed off the plate a little bit to take that away. I never did make the adjustment until now."

The Rangers actually grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Adrian Beltre's two-out RBI single.

First innings were a sore spot for Hudson in 2011, and he has tried to improve on that this year. One of the biggest keys is to keep from getting too frustrated when the opposition jumps on top.

"It's tough for me, especially, but it's one of those things where it's only one run with two outs at the time," Hudson said of how he kept his composure. "Try to get the next guy. Try to get the next guy and get the offense up there to try to score some runs. It's especially frustrating, because it was another one of those where he didn't barrel it too much and it fell in there."

Jason Kubel made things easier on Hudson when he hit a two-run homer in the top of the second to put the D-backs on top.

After that, Hudson got rolling. From the second through the sixth, he allowed just one baserunner.

"You can just get into a groove and get momentum, especially when you're getting a lot of guys in a row out," Hudson said. "When you're pitching out of the windup a lot, you get into this rhythm where your mechanics are the same every single time. That's what you strive for."

The Rangers finally broke through against him in the seventh on a two-out, two-run homer by David Murphy, but by then, the D-backs were comfortably ahead.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.