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03/23/11 8:53 PM ET

Hudson may have tipped pitches in rough start

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Daniel Hudson will go check the video, but the D-backs' right-hander has a pretty good idea what may have helped the Rangers feast on his pitches Wednesday.

"I threw some good pitches that they just kind of spit on," Hudson said. "They seemed to be right on the fastball, and then I threw some good changeups ahead in the count that they kind of spit on, so I might have been tipping [pitches] a bit."

Hudson will sit with pitching coach Charles Nagy on Thursday and see if he can pick up something in his delivery that was tipping the Rangers off to what was coming.

Texas ran most of its regulars out there against Hudson and battered him for seven runs on eight hits in just 2 2/3 innings.

"That's an AL champion lineup they threw out there today," he said. "Gave them an extra out, got behind in a couple of counts and they're going to do what they did today."

The extra out came when Hudson rushed a throw to first on a bunt in the third inning and wound up tossing it down the first-base line. The Rangers went on to score seven runs in the inning, only one of which was earned due to the error. The D-backs ultimately prevailed, 9-8.

"They just kicked his butt I guess," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "Everything he threw, they hit. Just one of those days, he'll be fine. He's throwing good, he's healthy, that's all we care about."

Hudson is slated to start the second game of the regular season.

Branyan makes strong statement in win

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Not that he hadn't done enough already, but after Russell Branyan's performance Wednesday it is hard to imagine the slugger not making the Arizona Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster.

Branyan went 2-for-4 with a grand slam and five RBIs in Arizona's 9-8 win over the Rangers. His slam gave the D-backs a lead in the seventh inning and his RBI single in the ninth provided the winning margin.

The D-backs have to decide by Friday whether to put Branyan on the roster, or he can exercise an opt-out clause in the Minor League deal he signed just after camp opened. Branyan, who is competing with Juan Miranda and Brandon Allen for the first-base job, is hitting .457 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 46 at-bats. He has also drawn six walks.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was not prepared to tip his hand following Wednesday's game.

"Well, he's making a good case for sure," Gibson said with a smile. "He swung the bat good against lefties today, so he's done well. We had a good talk today. I've said it before, he's got a good understanding of his role and his job. He hit a big bomb for us right there that got us back in the game. I'd like to see it keep going."

Even before his performance Wednesday, Gibson was singing Branyan's praises.

"If he was on the team, he would definitely bring a bat, big power to us," Gibson said. "And if he wasn't in the lineup, we could use his power off the bench."

Miranda is hitting .326 this spring, while Allen, after an 0-for-2 performance Wednesday, is at .313.

Worth noting

Time seems to be running out for infielder Geoff Blum to get healthy for Opening Day. The veteran had an injection in his ailing right knee Tuesday. "I asked [head athletic trainer Ken Crenshaw] if it's possible for him to be back for Opening Day," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I think it's still a possibility, but it gets slimmer every day." ... Closer J.J. Putz played long toss Wednesday, and Gibson said the right-hander did not experience any problems with his back. Putz was scratched from his outing last Friday when his back tightened up on him while warming in the bullpen. "J.J. played long toss today and felt great," Gibson said. "I think he'll throw a full bullpen Friday, and we hope to have him in a game on Sunday. Hope to, barring any setbacks, but every step of the way so far has been outstanding. I'm cautiously optimistic."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @dbackswriter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.