It's going to be hard for Daniel Hudson to top this game.
Hudson threw a five-hitter, belted his first big league home run and had a key two-run single, almost single-handedly leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
"I can't say enough," said teammate Ryan Roberts, who also homered. "The guy pitches, the guy hits, the guy pitches into the ninth inning now. He throws strong every time out."
Hudson (10-5) struck out three and walked none in his second complete game of the season. He also earned his first win since he beat Kansas City on June 23 and improved to 9-1 in 16 starts after beginning the season 0-4.
The right-hander's impressive performance came one day after Ian Kennedy earned his 10th win for Arizona. The two young pitchers continue to give Arizona a strong 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation.
Hudson connected against Ted Lilly (6-10) in the sixth, then singled in a pair of runs with two out in the seventh to make it 4-1.
The Dodgers intentionally walked Xavier Nady and brought in Blake Hawksworth before Hudson came to the plate in the important spot. But manager Kirk Gibson resisted any temptation to hit for his workhorse starter, who has thrown more than 100 pitchers 15 times this season.
"I liked the matchup, honestly," Gibson said. "I know Hawksworth's good. Righties are better against him. But it's Daniel Hudson out there. The guy's very competitive. He's hitting over .300. ... And he wanted to finish the game."
Hudson's single between shortstop and third base raised his batting average to .359.
"I think my pitch count was low enough to where he still trusted me that I had good stuff to go out there the next inning," Hudson said. "We had the lead. Maybe if we were down or tied he probably would have pinch hit for me but was happy he had confidence enough in me to get the job done and go out there and finish the game."
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly did not second-guess himself.
"It is not one of those I will look back and say I shouldn't have did that," he said. "I know Hawk has to throw strikes. I couldn't give them another shot at Teddy. I think I would do that every time."
Hudson retired his first nine batters and his last eight, striking out Aaron Miles to end the game. Hudson's first career complete game came on June 17 against the Chicago White Sox, who traded the Virginia native to Arizona last year.
The Diamondbacks took two of three in the series.
Lilly struck out five of six batters in one stretch, but the exception was Roberts, who hit a changeup in the second inning for his 12th homer. He retired 11 in a row after Roberts' homer, five via strikeout.
"It kind of feels like another pitcher's duel that I lost," Lilly said. "What I am thinking is eventually I am going to have to win one of these."
Hudson's line drive just cleared the fence in left, and his teammates ignored him for a brief moment when he returned to the dugout.
"You hit one, that's great, but your first one you can't all of a sudden start getting high-fives," Roberts said. "You've got to earn your keep."
The Dodgers responded to Hudson's homer in the seventh, getting some help from the 24-year-old pitcher.
Matt Kemp led off with a single and Mattingly called for the hit and run with James Loney at the plate. Loney hit a soft line drive off the glove of shortstop Stephen Drew as he charged toward second, putting runners at first and third with one out.
Arizona put it away with two runs in the seventh, loading the bases with the help of two intentional walks. After Chris Young singled and was sacrificed to second by Drew, Roberts was given a free pass by Lilly and Miguel Montero grounded out to put runners at second and third.
That's when Mattingly chose to intentionally walk Nady and bring in Hawksworth to pitch to Hudson.
NOTES: Dodgers SS Rafael Furcal, in a 3-for-34 slump since coming off the disabled list, was replaced in the lineup by Jamey Carroll. Furcal flew out as a pinch hitter in the eighth ... Arizona pitchers have four homers this season. ... In 32 starts since he was traded to the Dodgers, Lilly never has walked more than two in one game. He walked two Sunday, both intentionally. ... Hudson improved to 17-6 since coming to Arizona in the trade that sent Edwin Jackson to the White Sox. .. Arizona opens a four-game series against Milwaukee on Monday.