Former 16-game winner Dakota Hudson will continue his comeback from Tommy John surgery when the St. Louis Cardinals host the Arizona Diamondbacks Thursday.
Hudson (1-1, 3.95 ERA) will open this four-game series at Busch Stadium for the Cardinals, who suffered their first series defeat of the season while losing two of three games to the New York Mets at home.
“That was the definition of competition,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said after his team defeated the Mets 10-5 Wednesday afternoon.
“That first game against them (a late 5-2 loss) was a kick in the gut. The second one – they straight up beat us. To come out in a day game and compete that way was impressive. I enjoyed watching it.”
Hudson struggled in his first two starts, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in seven innings. But he is coming off a 5-0 victory at Cincinnati. He held the Reds to two hits and four walks.
“It feels good to be back,” Hudson said. “It’s big. I feel like it’s the first of many to go down the road. I’m just putting the ball in play and letting our defense do the work. Gold Gloves everywhere. Just got to trust them and use them.”
Hudson returned to action at the end of last season, but he was still working to regain his pitching feel this spring.
“The more we get him out there, the more confident of a guy we’re going to see,” Marmol said. “Early in the spring I said, ‘By the middle of the season, we’re going to be raving about this guy.’ ”
Hudson won his only career start against the Diamondbacks, in 2019. He allowed two runs in six innings.
The Diamondbacks come into this series off the heels of a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, their second win in that three-game series.
“They’ve been clobbering us,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “And I don’t know what the record is, but it ain’t very good. It’s nice to win two out of three.”
The Diamondbacks were 5-24 against the Dodgers during the previous two seasons, but they’ve become more competitive in tight contests.
“We’ve learned to embrace close games, we’ve learned to embrace execution in critical moments and we’re prepared to play games like this all season long,” Lovullo said.
Diamondbacks starting pitcher Humberto Castellanos (1-0, 3.00 ERA) was activated from the paternity list Tuesday after the birth of his daughter, Emily.
He is competing for a stop in the Arizona rotation after opening the season with two 26-pitch relief outings. In his two starts, he allowed two runs on five hits in nine innings.
Castellanos earned the victory Saturday when the Diamondbacks beat the New York Mets 5-2.
“I thought he was awesome,” Diamondbacks outfielder Daulton Varsho told MLB.com. “Five innings with two runs. I mean, he does what he does, two different (arm) slots and just keeps throwing the ball over the plate.”
This will be his second career appearance and first career start against the Cardinals. In his other appearance, he allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits in two innings.
–Field Level Media