SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The baseball gods have a sense of humor. Tim Hudson does, too.
In his first appearance as a Giant, Hudson twice had to race to first base on grounders to the right side, bringing back memories of the play that ended the right-hander's 2013 season. Sunday's start against the Arizona Diamondbacks was Hudson's first since July 24, when the Mets' Eric Young Jr. stepped on and fractured Hudson's right ankle on a bang-bang play at first.
The results were mixed Sunday. Hudson raced over to first with one out in the second to complete an inning-ending 3-6-1 double play, but Eric Chavez was on base in the first place only because Hudson had alligator-armed Brandon Belt's high throw to the bag two batters earlier.
"I put the first one on the fact that I'm just old and slow," Hudson said. "I'm like an old vintage car, you can't take me to a drag race. It was a little more challenging than I probably would have liked it to have been. I managed to find the bag one time.
"I was one out of two."
Hudson's pitching line contained mostly zeros. In two scoreless innings, Hudson threw 17 of 27 pitches for strikes and didn't give up a hit or walk a batter. He dazzled from the start, striking out Gerardo Parra on three pitches as the sellout crowd showed its appreciation.
Hudson, however, wasn't impressed. Parra stared at strike three, but it was a pitch Hudson said was a hanging splitter.
"It was bad enough that he didn't swing at it," Hudson said, smiling. "But it dropped in there for a strike."
Hudson said he was anxious as he took the mound and that led to command that was "hit-and-miss." Manager Bruce Bochy graded his new starter on a different curve.
"A great job by him," Bochy said. "It's been a long time, but he looked sharp."
The lone blip came on a play that Hudson hasn't yet practiced. It was only last week that he started doing fielding drills, and even then he often had to sneak into a large group of pitchers because the Giants want Hudson to take it slowly this spring. Hudson hasn't had any setbacks with the surgically repaired ankle and said he has put the injury out of his mind.
When the fourth batter of his season hit a grounder to first, Hudson didn't have a flashback to Young. But another professional athlete crossed Hudson's mind as Chavez, his former A's teammate, raced down the line.
"I probably could have caught it," Hudson said. "But I would have felt like Wes Welker going over the middle with a linebacker looking at me. I'm not sure spring training is the right time to do that."
"I'm just following the (trainer's) rules," Scutaro said, shrugging.
Bochy said Scutaro is on track to play in a game late next week.