Giants cruise past Diamondbacks in home opener 

click to enlarge Brandon Belt
  • Juan Pardo/Special to The S.F. Examiner
  • Giants first baseman Brandon Belt hit his fifth home run of the young season Tuesday, giving the Giants a 2-0 first-inning lead in their first game of 2014 at AT&T Park.
Tim Hudson made a strong first impression in his home debut Tuesday, as the Giants picked up a 7-3 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the season’s first game at AT&T Park.

Hudson, who signed with the Giants during the offseason, went eight strong innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on seven hits while striking out four. He has yet to walk a batter this season.

After an offseason spent rehabbing from an ankle injury that cut short his season last year and delayed his start this spring, Hudson has won his first two starts in orange and black.

While he said he’s still not where he wants to be physically, he said the disruption hasn’t slowed him down.

“I’m just old,” he said. “I’m old and I got a late start. Obviously the offseason was a lot different than it normally is for me. I came into spring training not nearly in the shape that I’m normally in. It’s something that’s been a little bit of a work in progress, but once you turn the lights on and the bell rings and it’s serious baseball, I’ve been able to bear down and make some good pitches even if physically I may not be where I want to be.”

Brandon Belt got things started early for the Giants’ offense with a two-run homer in the first, his fifth of the year. Diamondbacks starter Trevor Cahill never settled in after that, departing the game after just 3 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits.

Belt now leads the team with nine RBIs and credited his hot start to simply having more time under his belt.

“I feel like I’ve gained more experience,” he said. “I know a little bit more about what I want to do when I get up to the plate and when I’m out in the field, so I feel like I’m reaching my potential a little bit more and I guess the more I can do that, the better off I’ll be.”

Manager Bruce Bochy said he sees the 25-year-old first baseman’s start as a reversal of past years when Belt has struggled to stay consistent.

“He’s gotten behind the 8-ball in previous years, coming off a great spring training, and then he’d get off to a rough start,” Bochy said. “He’d start battling the numbers and he doesn’t have to do that this year, so hopefully it’s going to help him relax a little bit more, which it has.”

Michael Morse and Brandon Crawford each added a pair of RBIs, as both recorded a two-out hit to drive teammates home. Buster Posey rounded out the scoring with an RBI groundout.

Giants leadoff man Angel Pagan continued his streak of hitting safely in each game this year. He also had his sixth multi-hit game and scored two runs.

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