Tim Hudson cherishes final moment on mound before retiring

San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Hudson waves to fans as he leaves the baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third inning Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Tim Hudson left the pitching mound for likely the last time to a roaring ovation and tipped his cap to every section of the stadium as his Giants teammates waited in front of the dugout in a hug line.

Hudson wanted one final start in front of the home fans at AT&T Park, even if it would be short and sweet. Manager Bruce Bochy obliged him, all right.

"He's earned that," the skipper said.

Hudson allowed three runs and three hits in 2 1-3 innings in the final start of his 17-year major league career, taking the loss in a 3-2 defeat to the division champion Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.

The 40-year-old right-hander (8-9) said his farewell last weekend across the bay in Oakland where his career began in 1999, pitching opposite former Giants lefty Barry Zito.

Hudson is the majors' active wins leader for a few more days with 222 victories. He won his first World Series ring last season and winds up having thrown 46,631 pitches against 13,005 batters.

"I was surprised how good I was able to hold it together there," Hudson said. "The last couple weeks have been a little bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me. I've had so much fun over the last 17 years and today was a really special day for me, the way the fans responded, the way my teammates responded. I didn't quite know what to expect but I'm very grateful for all of it."

Bochy expected Hudson's outing to be short considering he has been bothered by a tender left hip, though that wasn't an issue Thursday.

Hudson will be honored during the weekend along with left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt, who announced his retirement Thursday and entered to relieve Hudson.

After so many playoff failures, Hudson finally won his first World Series ring last fall.

"I never would have dreamed things would have unfolded how I hoped they would. That never happens, especially in this game," Hudson said. "It seemed very magical."

Dodgers left-hander Brett Anderson, who got his start with the A's five years after Hudson departed for Atlanta, pitched two-hit ball into the eighth in his final regular-season start.

Anderson (10-9) retired 14 straight batters following Kevin Frandsen's one-out single in the third before Jarrett Parker singled to start the eighth. He made his career-high 31st start, topping his 30 outings in 2009 as a rookie with Oakland. He reached a high for innings with 180 1-3.

Just three balls left the infield against Anderson and no San Francisco runner reached second base until an eighth-inning throwing error by second baseman Howie Kendrick. Anderson gave up four hits, struck out three and didn't walk a batter in 7 2-3 innings.

"We just couldn't generate any offense," Bochy said. "He had us off balance all day."

The Giants won the season series 11-8, beating the Dodgers in eight of 10 at home.
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