video thumbnail

ARI@FLA: Hudson fans seven en route to the win

MIAMI -- As he strolled to the mound with the bases loaded and his team clinging to a four-run lead, D-backs setup man David Hernandez had one thought going through his mind: This time he had to come through for Daniel Hudson.

Hernandez managed to allow just one of the inherited runners to score, as the D-backs hung on for a 5-1 win over the Marlins on Sunday afternoon at Sun Life Stadium.

The win was the second in a row for the D-backs, who close out this four-game series and seven-game road trip Monday night.

In Hudson's last start, he turned things over to Hernandez with a 5-3 lead after seven innings.

In a rare poor outing, Hernandez imploded, allowing five runs on four hits without retiring a batter.

Sunday, though, he was on top of his game.

"The first thing that went through my mind was that I owe Huddy one," Hernandez said of what he was thinking as he strolled in from the bullpen. "So I was trying to limit the damage."

That's just what Hernandez did, as he allowed a sacrifice fly before striking out Mike Stanton and retiring Greg Dobbs to end the threat and preserve the lead.

"The first batter is the most important when you come into that situation," Hernandez said. "I did give up a sac fly, but made some quality pitches. Anytime you ruin a great performance by a starting pitcher, you do feel bad for him. I was just happy that I was able to come in in that situation and got a chance to redeem myself."

Said Hudson, "That was big. [The relievers] did a great job coming in, David especially. That really kind of swung the momentum a little bit back in our direction."

Hudson flirted with trouble throughout his six innings of work, but managed to keep the Marlins from breaking things open. Florida left 13 runners on while going 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

"We've been going through this pretty much the whole homestand," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "The timely hitting is not there. We're failing with runners in scoring position."

The D-backs, meanwhile, cashed in on their opportunities, going 3-for-8 in similar situations.

Marlins starter Brad Hand (0-2) struggled with his command, and the D-backs capitalized on that to jump on top early.

Willie Bloomquist drew a walk to lead off the game, and Justin Upton did the same one out later. Stephen Drew then drove a double into the gap in right-center to score both.

"Their pitcher, he didn't have very good command -- everything was kind of arm-side with his fastball, so we were patient enough and took a lot of walks," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He walked five guys and we got them in."

The D-backs added another pair of runs to go up 4-0, when Ryan Roberts led off the third with a homer to right and Xavier Nady drove home another later in the frame with a sacrifice fly.

When Hudson (7-5) headed to the plate to lead off the seventh, Gibson reminded him not to run the bases too hard, as he was hoping to get one more inning out of the right-hander.

Instead, Hudson lined a single to right and had to sprint to first where he barely beat the throw in from Stanton and in the process almost twisted his ankle.

Hudson then ran hard when Bloomquist hit a double-play grounder.

That seemed to tire him out, as he scuffled in the bottom half of the inning, allowing a single and back-to-back walks to load the bases before being removed in favor of Hernandez.

"I don't think it did," Hudson said of all the running in the hot, humid South Florida weather. "It was a long day out there, sitting around for a long time, and some of those innings were really hot in the dugout. Kind of got gassed there towards the end, I guess."

Aaron Heilman tossed a scoreless ninth, though closer J.J. Putz, who has been battling back stiffness, was warming up and would have come in had it been a save situation.

MLB.com Comments