He wouldn't pitch in a Major League game more than two years.
Two Tommy John surgeries knocked Hudson out of baseball for more than 26 months, but on Saturday night, he returned to Chase Field -- entering the game to a huge cheer -- and pitched an inning during the D-backs' 10-4 win against the Padres.
"It kind of gave me chills a little bit," Hudson said. "Just running in from the bullpen, and once they said my name, the crowd reacted the way they did -- it was really nice. I appreciated that a lot."
Hudson gave up a run in his one inning after surrendering a triple to Rene Rivera and a single to Alexi Amarista, but he flashed the ability that made him a 16-game winner in 2011. His fastball reached 96 mph and he struck out two batters in the inning with his changeup.
"It felt good," Hudson said. "The ball was coming out of my hand pretty well."
Hudson had pitched twice previously since being activated from the disabled list on Sept. 2. But with the season winding down and the D-backs already eliminated from a shot at a playoff berth, the team is taking it easy with Hudson. He won't pitch more than an inning at a time, and they will try to keep him out of pressure situations.
"Every time he throws, he's going to be more comfortable," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's going to build off of that.
"He's healthy and that's all we care about."
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.