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OAK@SF: Hudson notches six K's over six frames

PHOENIX -- One pitcher who established consistency long ago and another who's still searching for it will cross paths Wednesday as the Giants and D-backs clash again.

Tim Hudson, who shares the Major League lead in victories among active pitchers (205) with CC Sabathia of the Yankees, will make his Giants debut. San Francisco signed Hudson, a free agent, to a two-year, $23 million contract last November to solidify a starting rotation that became wobbly last year.

The D-backs will counter with Trevor Cahill, a 2010 American League All-Star with the A's who has since slipped from that level. Since that charmed season, when Cahill finished 18-8, he has compiled a 33-37 record.

Hudson, 38, does everything with a veteran's confidence -- as well he should, having broken into the Major Leagues in 1999 with Oakland. He even hits well for a pitcher, having broken Hall of Famer-elect Frank Thomas' single-season RBI record at Auburn University.

Hudson's demeanor came as no surprise to Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

"It's pretty much what I had heard -- what a professional he is, how he goes about his business," Bochy said. "He's a good athlete, probably a little better than I even thought. He has been a pleasure to have."

The D-backs had high hopes for Cahill entering the spring. They were impressed with his early bullpen sessions and manager Kirk Gibson named him to start the regular season's second game against the Dodgers in Australia. But he struggled in Spring Training, compiling a 6.95 ERA and showing the inconsistency that plagued him last year.

Cahill struggled against the Dodgers, allowing five runs on eight hits over just four innings. Even more alarming was his lack of command, also a problem last year, as he walked four and fanned one.

Giants: Affeldt nearing return
Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt, who's recovering from a sprained right knee, threw batting practice to hitters on Tuesday and said that he should be ready to make a couple of injury rehabilitation appearances Friday and Saturday for the Giants' Triple-A Fresno affiliate at Las Vegas. He should be ready to rejoin the active roster early next week.

Affeldt admitted that he wasn't wearing his knee brace when he injured himself in a March 22 exhibition against the White Sox. Giants coaches and Bochy were not happy.

"The look I got was not a friendly one," Affeldt said. "I paid my price. Thankfully, I'm not paying a heavy price."

What's even more confusing is that Affeldt admitted he feels better pitching with the brace.

D-backs: Getting everyone involved
By the end of the season's first week, Gibson would like to give each one of his bench players a start. He believes that getting everyone some action builds chemistry and keeps role players sharp.

Tony Campana will likely get a start in center in place of A.J. Pollock at some point and Cliff Pennington will get a game at short for Chris Owings.

When it comes to Owings, a rookie, Gibson believes in not running him out there too many days in a row.

"Don't want to just jam it down his throat every day," Gibson said. "You give him a chance to breathe, sit back and understand what's going on a little bit."

Worth noting
• Paul Goldschmidt extended his hitting streak to 23 games Tuesday with a first-inning RBI double.

• The D-backs home opener Monday was their highest-rated telecast since 2011.

• First baseman Brandon Belt is the first Giant with at least four RBIs in the season's first two games since Neifi Perez in 2004.

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