Daniel Hudson has looked good in two games for the Diamondbacks since returning from injury. The right-hander takes aim at a second straight win tonight when Arizona begins a three-game series versus the Oakland Athletics.
Hudson won 16 games and posted a 3.49 earned run average in 33 starts with the Diamondbacks last season, but was just 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three starts before hitting the disabled list due to a right shoulder injury. He missed over a month of action before returning on May 27.
The 25-year-old faced the Brewers on that day and pitched five innings, allowing two runs. He then took on the Padres last Saturday, getting his first win since April 7 with eight innings of two-run ball. Hudson allowed five hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
"I was on a pitch count my first time. To be able to finally let loose, go out and throw strikes, get early outs, was pretty uplifting for me," said Hudson, who threw 68 of 112 pitches for strikes.
Hudson is 2-1 with a 4.65 ERA overall this season and 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA in one start and one career relief outing against Oakland.
Arizona is coming off a series victory over Colorado, taking the final two contests of a three-game set by a 16-1 margin after getting shut out in the opener. The D-Backs took Wednesday's finale 6-1 behind the hot bat of Paul Goldschmidt and a career day by starter Wade Miley.
Goldschmidt posted two doubles, a homer and three RBI to push his hitting streak to 14 straight games. He is batting .431 over that span with five homers and eight RBI.
Miley, meanwhile, threw a career-high eight innings and gave up a run on three hits without a walk as Arizona won for the fourth time in five games.
"We had a good game today. It was all-around one of our better games," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said.
Gibson could put outfielder Justin Upton back in the lineup after giving his slumping slugger days off on Tuesday and Wednesday. Upton is just four for his last 28 at the plate.
Upton will look to get things going against Oakland starter Tommy Milone, who has been a different hurler this season on the road compared to at home. He is 6-5 with a 3.53 ERA in 11 overall starts this season, posting a 6.23 ERA on the road compared to a 0.98 ERA as the host.
The left-hander has been solid over his last two trips to the hill, but has lost both by a 2-0 margin. He gave up two runs over 6 2/3 frames at home versus the Yankees on May 27, then lasted seven innings and allowed another two runs while matching a career high with six strikeouts in a setback at Kansas City on Sunday.
It marks the first time that the 25-year-old Milone has lost consecutive decisions and he'll try to find the win column in his first career start in both interleague play and against the Diamondbacks.
Oakland picked up a 7-1 victory over Texas on Thursday to cap a four-game set. The win gave the A's their first series victory since they took two of three against the Rays from May 4-6 and it featured a breakout game by Coco Crisp.
Crisp hit his first homer of the season and also smacked a triple with the bases loaded in the fourth inning, helping Oakland capture its fourth victory in six games following a nine-game slide. Brandon Moss added a solo homer in the win.
"I think everybody can sleep well at night knowing that they are trying their best and it's only going to improve," said Crisp. "I like the direction that we are moving right now."
Brandon McCarthy picked pup the win after giving up one run over seven innings, scattering three hits without walking a batter.
Oakland did lose Yoenis Cespedes in the fourth inning due to a strained left hamstring and he is day-to-day. The outfielder is unlikely to play tonight and the club is hoping he can avoid a trip to the disabled list.
The A's took two of three from the Diamondbacks at home last season and the clubs are meeting in Arizona for the first time since 2008.