video thumbnail

SD@ARI: Montero rips a double for a run in the fourth

PHOENIX -- If you glance at the final score, you would think that Tuesday's 6-1 win over the Padres was a cakewalk for D-backs starter Daniel Hudson.

But the pesky Padres put runners on base in every inning against the right-hander, and made him work for everything.

The Padres had 10 runners on base against Hudson in his seven innings, but he made his pitches when he had to, and did not allow a hit in six at-bats with runners in scoring position.

"It was a great performance, because I don't think he had the greatest command," catcher Miguel Montero said. "I don't think his breaking ball was as good as it's been. They went after his first pitches all the time, and we started mixing it up and he kept himself in the game. He was a little frustrated early, but he competed, he's a competitor and when you compete good things can happen."

The 16,365 in attendance had barely settled into their Chase Field seats when Hudson found himself in a hole. Chris Denorfia led off the game with a triple and scored one batter later on Jason Bartlett's sacrifice fly.

It didn't take long for Hudson and Montero to realize that the Padres were jumping on his fastball early in the count, so they switched things up and Hudson started going to more of his secondary pitches as a result.

It was a different approach than the one Hudson saw against the Padres last weekend in spacious PETCO Park.

"Their lineup is really aggressive right now," Hudson said. "They got out of PETCO and they're just swinging. I thought I made some good pitches, and they put some good swings on some pitches and I got a little frustrated there for a while. I had to tell myself just to bear down and settle down and get through it."

Frustration is something that Hudson has had to deal with quite a bit this year. While very little went wrong in his three months with the D-backs last season, this year has been a different story. There was a stretch early when he wasn't getting run support, and another when the opposition seemed to get more than their fair share of seeing-eye hits.

"I kind of wear it on my sleeve out there at times," Hudson said. "I've got to try to keep that emotion under control, but it's kind of hard sometimes, especially when I feel like I'm throwing some good pitches and they're finding holes."

While the Padres were not able to make Hudson pay for allowing so many runners, the D-backs snapped out of their slump with runners in scoring position, going 5-for-15.

"We were much better with guys in scoring position, but we're looking to be consistent with that," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said.

Montero, who has been an offensive funk of late -- he was 12-for-71 (.169) in his last 23 games entering Tuesday -- helped out his battery mate by driving in a pair of runs. He also reached base on a walk and was hit by a pitch.

"Miggy swung the bat well, and again, that's the Miguel Montero approach," Gibson said referring to Montero going the opposite way. "He'll pull some balls for sure, but in general, left field, left-center he's staying on the ball. He had disciplined at bats and a couple of big hits for us."

The tone for Montero's evening was set in his first at-bat in the second inning.

After falling behind 0-2 on a pair of called strikes, Montero managed to foul off four pitches and drew a 10-pitch walk. He followed that up with an RBI double in the fourth, was hit by a pitch in the sixth and singled in a run in the seventh.

"I tried to stay back a little bit longer and feel my back foot a little better and shorten up my swing," Montero said. "I just try to hit good pitches, just trying to hit strikes and not swing at too many balls." Comments