Tim Hudson tied a career high and a career low on Wednesday, and neither feat was anything to brag about.
He matched a career high with 12 hits allowed, matched a career low with zero strikeouts and the Chicago White Sox pummeled two huge home runs to hand the Giants a 7-6 defeat Wednesday afternoon on the South Side.
The Giants did well to drive up Chris Sale’s pitch count and they kept rallying till the end, but the hole was too deep as they were swept in a two-game interleague series. They lost for the eighth time in nine games.
Starting pitching report
Hudson’s ERA nudged up to 2.39 after he allowed seven runs on 12 hits and one walk in 4 2/3 innings.
Hudson (7-3) fell behind in the first inning when Jose Abreu hit his 21st home run, keeping his hands inside on an 0-2 splitter that wasn’t far from its intended spot. It was a tip-your-cap at-bat.
But Hudson paid for a rare leadoff walk in the fourth, which opened the door for a two-run inning when the White Sox pieced together three singles including a broken-bat hit. Tyler Flowers’ single scored both runs – and snapped his 0-for-25 streak that included 19 strikeouts.
The Giants needed a shutdown inning from Hudson in the fifth after they had rallied to cut the White Sox’s lead in half, to 4-2. But Hudson gave up two singles to start the fifth, putting runners at the corners. In desperate need of a strikeout, Buster Posey gave a high target on an 0-2 pitch to Adam Dunn. Hudson’s 89 mph fastball wasn’t high enough, and not nearly overpowering enough. Dunn belted it for a three-run home run that knocked the Giants back down to the dirt.
It was a bad day to need a strikeout from Hudson. For just the eighth time in 440 career starts, he did not strike out a batter.
Santiago Casilla had a nice return in his first appearance since coming off the disabled list. He struck out one in two scoreless innings.
At the plate
Entering the game, Sale (6-1) had allowed two hits to left-handed batters all season. Josh Hamilton of the Angels collected both of those on March 8.
So Gregor Blanco’s nice line in the box score really should rank as one of the finest games of his career. Blanco, the only left-handed hitter had two hits off Sale and added an RBI double in the eighth inning to keep igniting rallies.
Blanco’s single in the fifth started the Giants’ two-run rally off Sale. Posey, who had good at-bats all day, hit an RBI single and Pablo Sandoval hit a sacrifice fly. Michael Morse popped up to end the inning.
The Giants loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh and Posey just missed catching one on the barrel while hitting a sacrifice fly. The Giants had the tying run at the plate after Pablo Sandoval singled, but Morse struck out on an unbelievably nasty 97 mph sinker from Jake Petricka and pinch hitter Hector Sanchez flied out.
Blanco’s RBI double was the big hit in a two-run eighth inning that kept the Giants within striking distance. They got the tying runs on base in the ninth when Sandoval and Morse started the inning with singles off Belisario. But Sanchez, who stayed in the game to catch, struck out. Tyler Colvin hit a sacrifice fly and Ehire Adrianza flied out.
The Giants and White Sox played error-free.
The Giants take Thursday off before beginning a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday at Chase Field. Tim Lincecum (5-4, 4.81) takes the mound against Arizona right-hander Josh Collmenter (4-4, 4.05). First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. PDT. It’ll be Ryan Vogelsong (4-3, 3.94) vs. right-hander Brandon McCarthy (1-9, 5.18) on Saturday and Madison Bumgarner (8-4, 2.85) vs. right-hander Mike Bolsinger (1-2, 5.70) on Sunday.