A wild ending capped off one of Tim Hudson‘s best-pitched games in years Saturday as the Giants clinched the series against the Angels with a 5-4 victory.
It was San Francisco leading the whole afternoon behind a stellar Hudson (W, 1-2, 3.78 ERA) before the Angels scored two runs in the top of the ninth with two outs and runners on first and third ready to tie the game or seize the lead.
Matt Joyce‘s hard grounder toward right field looked sure to send the game into extra innings, but the ball hit the foot of pinch runner Taylor Featherston and he was called out to end the game.
Hudson, along with most everyone else, commented on the last out saying he’d never seen anything like it:
“I’ve seen it happen, but never to end a ball game. Especially where the base-hit would have probably tied it up or taken a lead for the other team. It was nice for us and bad for them, but we’ll take it any way we can get it.”
Aging heavy metal band Metallica was on hand for every moment of the Giants hard-hitting day and were a fitting image next to the 39-year-old Hudson, who continues to prove he’s still got it.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he was impressed with the way Hudson threw especially considering the years on his body:
“It was impressive. He was hitting his spots, getting great movement, a lot of ground balls and quick outs. It’s amazing at his age he’s out there pitching in the ninth.”
Bochy brought in Sergio Romo to replace Hudson, but after Romo came Jeremy Affeldt, then Santiago Castilla in a shaky ninth inning that averted disaster only by the exact length of Featherston’s outstretched leg.
Hudson said he wished he hadn’t left things off with a leadoff walk, but was glad to have had a good outing, especially coming away with the win:
“It felt like we had a much bigger lead than it was there at the end … it got a little hairier there at the end, a little more exciting that I think we would have liked but we’ll take it.”
Hudson gave up just two hits through eight-plus innings, while Hector Santiago allowed nine hits across five innings, including Nori Aoki‘s single line drive in the second that drove home two runs and Brandon Crawford‘s fifth home run of the season in the fourth.
The Giants have now won five straight games at AT&T Park and six of their last seven at home. … San Francisco improved to 8-3 in one run games this year. Their eight one-run victories are the most in the Majors. … Brandon Crawford hit his fifth home run of the season, which leads all Major League shortstops. … Crawford is 7-for-21 (.333) with two home runs this season against left-handed pitching. … The Angels dropped to 2-3 on their current six-game road trip. … Hector Santiago allowed a season-high four runs and surrendered a home run to a left-handed batter for just the sixth time in his career.