Following a remarkable franchise-best streak of nine consecutive outings to start the season pitching at least six innings and allowing two runs or fewer, Patrick Corbin has suddenly looked human his last two times on the mound.
In starts against the Padres and Cubs, the D-backs left-hander allowed a combined eight runs (seven earned) in 12 innings. Yet despite being hit consistently for the first time this year, Corbin limited the damage and earned victories in both games, a feat that impressed D-backs manager Kirk Gibson.
"Every start he goes out there, he learns," Gibson said. "He's becoming a better pitcher. Maybe he gave up some runs those last couple of starts, but he's a better pitcher, I'm telling you that right now. He has a better understanding; [he's] going to be better prepared to work through situations."
Corbin will try to apply the lessons he learned over his last two outings and return to his earlier dominant ways when he faces the Giants on Friday at Chase Field as the last two National League West champions meet for a weekend series.
"I think no matter how I go out there and throw, whether it's a bad game or a good game, I try to stay levelheaded," said Corbin, baseball's first nine-game winner in 2013. "Just try to be myself and do what I've done to get to this point and try to improve from start to start and make sure I'm ready for each start."
Corbin, named the National League Pitcher of the Month for May on Monday, last threw against the Giants on April 23, tossing 7 1/3 innings and allowing just two runs on six hits.
Opposing Corbin for San Francisco will be Matt Cain, who will try to reverse his club's fortunes on the road this season. The Giants are 21-11 at home in 2013 but just 10-17 on the road. Three of those wins, however, came earlier this year when they swept the D-backs in Arizona.
Cain, who has surrendered a combined eight runs (seven earned) in 12 innings vs. the D-backs this year, is coming off a disappointing outing his last time on the hill when he gave up seven runs on nine hits to the Cardinals.
Asked after the game if his effort was difficult to fathom, Cain replied, "It is, a little bit. But I just have to go back, look at what happened and kind of move on. You'll have outings like that, but you have to kind of get over it."
Giants: Torres raking at home, struggling on the road
Andres Torres has no explanation for the vast disparity between his hitting at AT&T Park and on the road, though he suggested that sheer enthusiasm could be a factor.
"I love to play here," Torres said Wednesday in San Francisco. "This is home for me. I don't know, it's one of those things, huh? Crazy."
Like his team's record at home as opposed to its record when away, Torres has a .356 home batting average (26-for-73), compared with .143 (7-for-49) when on the road.
D-backs: Hudson leaves rehab outing
Daniel Hudson had his injury rehab start for Double-A Mobile cut short Tuesday after experiencing stiffness in his surgically repaired right elbow.
According to a D-backs spokesperson, Hudson was set to return to Phoenix to have the elbow looked at by team physician Michael Lee.
Hudson, who had Tommy John surgery last July, was making his first rehab start outside of three extended spring training outings. He allowed one run on two hits over two innings for Mobile before leaving after just 48 pitches.
Hudson said on his Twitter account Wednesday that the sensation in his elbow is unlike the pain when he initially got hurt: "Worst flight of my life last year. Never thought I would have to do it again so soon. Good news is the elbow feels different than last time."
• The 10 runs Ian Kennedy gave up on Thursday were the most by a D-backs starter since Edwin Jackson surrendered 10 on April 27, 2010.
• After beginning the year on the disabled list, Willie Bloomquist has opened with four straight multi-hit games, tying Danny Bautista's club record set in 2002.
• The Giants have 12 one-run victories, second-most such wins in the Majors, trailing only the D-backs (14).
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.