SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants are unbeaten at home when Tim Hudson takes the mound, and an injury will prevent that from changing.
With Hudson being skipped in the rotation, Hunter Pence will try to keep the Giants’ offense rolling with another strong performance and help them beat the spiraling Miami Marlins on Friday night.
Hudson’s 2.09 ERA is the lowest of any San Francisco starter, and he’s 3-0 while the Giants (27-15) have won all four of his outings at AT&T Park.
The veteran right-hander, though, will have to wait to improve on those numbers since a strained left hip is preventing him from making his scheduled start. He’s not expected to go on the disabled list.
“It’s easier to put out a brush fire than a forest fire,” Hudson told the team’s official website.
San Francisco now attempts to continue its success at home after opening this four-game series by erasing a three-run deficit to win 6-4 over the Marlins (21-21) on Thursday night.
The Giants are hitting .294 with eight homers while winning five of their last six as host.
Pence’s production is even more impressive. The right fielder is batting .382 over the past 17 home games after going 9 for 14 with three doubles, one homer, three RBIs and four runs in the last three.
He doubled and had three hits while scoring twice Thursday, and Michael Morse added three hits and three RBIs while homering in back-to-back games.
Morse has a .409 average over his last 11 meetings with Miami.
A strong offensive effort may be needed with Yusmeiro Petit (2-1, 4.85 ERA) filling in for Hudson.
Petit’s two previous starts this season came as a replacement for Matt Cain, who hurt his finger attempting to cut a sandwich. The right-hander turned in a pair of wildly contrasting performances, starting with six innings in a 6-0 win over San Diego on April 29.
He followed that up a week later by surrendering eight runs in 4 1-3 innings of an 11-10 loss in 13 at Pittsburgh.
Petit is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in two starts against the Marlins, but the most recent one came with Arizona in 2009.
While the Giants aren’t too concerned with Hudson’s injury, Miami may still be reeling with ace Jose Fernandez undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery Friday.
A 1-6 stretch on the road surely isn’t helping, either.
Henderson Alvarez (2-3, 3.33) will get the ball, and he’s 0-3 with a 4.73 ERA over his last five starts on the road dating to last year.
His latest was one of his worst performances of 2014, surrendering a season-high five earned runs and seven hits with three walks in four innings of Sunday’s 5-4 loss at San Diego. That was in stark contrast to five days earlier, when the right-hander tossed a six-hitter in a 3-0 win over the New York Mets for his second shutout of the season.
“He didn’t have a good feel for his sinker and that is his bread and butter,” catcher Jeff Mathis said of Alvarez’s struggles Sunday. “Without his sinker we were doing what we could do throw the ball over the plate.”
Alvarez struggled in his only career meeting with the Giants on Aug. 17, giving up four runs while issuing four walks in seven innings of a 6-4 home defeat.
Giancarlo Stanton has a .417 average during a 17-game hitting streak after singling in the series opener.
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