After yielding seven runs in 8 1/3 innings spanning his previous two starts, Hudson limited the Chicago White Sox to one run in six innings Saturday as the Giants captured an 8-5 Cactus League decision at Camelback Ranch.
Hudson sustained an impressive finishing kick. The White Sox had runners on second and third base with one out in the fifth inning and two on with nobody out in the sixth, yet Hudson held them scoreless each time. He attributed his effectiveness to repeatedly throwing strikes that were tempting yet just elusive enough.
"The swings they were taking were swings that I liked -- very aggressive swings, not very good wood on the ball," said Hudson, the No. 3 starter who's projected to start the Giants' April 8 home opener against Arizona. "All in all, I feel pleased with it. If I can continue to improve from here, I'll be ready to go."
Hudson might have confronted a challenge if he could have faced himself. He went 2-for-3, recording his only out in the fifth inning when right fielder Blake Tekotte made a diving catch near the foul line. This also marked the first time all spring that Hudson, batting .800 (4-for-5), was retired.
Bochy has noticed. Asked if Hudson had established himself as a pinch-hitting candidate, Bochy said, "No question. I'm sure that's going to happen, whether it's to get a bunt down or in a [swinging] situation."
Hudson, who batted .396 as a senior in 1997 and broke Hall of Famer-elect Frank Thomas' single-season RBI record at Auburn University, joked about his hitting.
"I'll probably go oh-for-my-first-10 games [in the regular season]," he said. "They did tell me there was a batting title in Spring Training, though."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.