PHOENIX — We should have known this would be a weird game. The signs were there early. Two batters in Tuesday, a replay review was needed to check the count and confirm that Joe Panik had indeed drawn ball four.
It got stranger from there, but all of the surprising plays benefited the Giants.
A pop-up behind third turned into a sac fly for the Diamondbacks, but also a big double-play for the Giants. Gregor Blanco, not known for his pop, hit a bomb over the high green wall in straightaway center. Most surprising of all, Tim Hudson hit a no-doubter to left, delighting the Giants dugout and helping pace a 6-2 win over the Diamondbacks.
Oh, and Hudson was pretty good with his arm, too. In his first start since July 26, Hudson gave up just one run on four hits in six innings.
The Giants went up 2-0 in the third on solo shots by Blanco and Hudson. The homer was the fourth in 17 seasons for Hudson, who returned to a dugout full of smiles and laughter. The Giants would go on to score three more runs in the inning.
Hudson opened the game with six straight groundouts. He ran into trouble in the fourth when three straight Diamondbacks singled ahead of Jake Lamb. The third baseman hit a pop-up behind third and Matt Duffy snagged it with a running catch, but Paul Goldschmidt alertly tagged and scored. Duffy’s throw home got away, but as David Peralta made a wide turn around third, shortstop Ehire Adrianza snuck in behind him to field a perfect throw from Buster Posey. The strange sequence got Hudson out of the inning with a 5-1 lead that the bullpen wouldn’t give back.
Starting pitching report: Hudson picked up his 221st career victory. He’s still the active wins leader.
Bullpen report: Sergio Romo needed just four pitches to get through the eighth.
At the plate: There have been 22 homers hit by pitchers this season, and the Giants have seven of them. Madison Bumgarner has five, of course. Here’s the tale of the tape for the other two:
Vogelsong (38 years old): 98 mph exit velocity, 391 feet, 26-second HR trot
Hudson (40 years old): 98 mph exit velocity, 386 feet, 24-second HR trot
Hudson became the oldest Giants pitcher to homer since 41-year-old Steve Carlton went deep in 1986.
In the field: Brandon Crawford recorded all three outs in the first, and the third one was a strong throw from the hole to get Goldschmidt. But Crawford was pulled early with tightness in his left oblique and left calf. Those are the two injuries that have cost him games in the last couple weeks.
[RELATED: Crawford exits early after injuries flare up]
Attendance: The Diamondbacks announced a crowd of 18,683 human beings. Grumpy Cat did not attend.
Up next: Chris Heston will try to keep the good vibes going. He faces Zack Godley, who is 4-1 with a 3.62 ERA.