Brad Hand was outstanding in his major league debut with the Florida Marlins. He was also the losing pitcher in that game.
In his return to the mound, the left-hander will try to duplicate that stellar effort Sunday and earn a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are coming off their best performance at the plate in nearly two weeks.With All-Star Josh Johnson dealing with an ailing shoulder, the Marlins (32-31) promoted Hand from Double-A Jacksonville to take his spot in the rotation.The 21-year-old pitcher had a start reminiscent of some of Johnson's with a one-hitter over six innings Tuesday against Atlanta. That one hit, however, was a solo home run in a 1-0 defeat."Brad Hand was very impressive," manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "His poise was excellent. He looks like he's been in the big leagues for a long time."Hand (0-1, 1.50 ERA) also struck out six and walked one while becoming the second starter since 1900 to lose his major league debut while allowing fewer than two hits and pitching at least six innings. The other was the Washington Senators' Mike Thompson, who tossed a one-hitter over seven innings in a loss to Baltimore on May 19, 1971."I'm very happy with what I did," Hand said. "It was just one bad pitch that just cost us the game, so I'm very excited."Hand will next face a Diamondbacks team that might have broken out of a slump at the plate. Arizona (35-30) had 11 hits during Saturday's 9-5 victory over the Marlins, its best run total since a 15-4 rout of Florida on May 30.Kelly Johnson hit a three-run double in the victory, giving him seven RBIs in six games. The Marlins, meanwhile, suffered their ninth loss in 10 games this month, earning that lone win in Friday's series opener.The Diamondbacks had batted .235 and averaged 3.2 runs while dropping six of their previous 10. That followed an incredible 13-1 stretch in which they batted .292 and averaged 6.2 runs.Daniel Hudson (6-5, 3.98) will look to get similar support as he attempts to match a career high with his fourth straight win. The right-hander hasn't received a decision in his two starts this month, including a 6-5 win in his only start against Florida on June 1.Hudson gave up four runs and 10 hits over seven innings in that game and allowed three runs -- one earned -- over another seven frames during an 8-5 loss in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. The right-hander exited that game with a one-run lead before the Pirates scored five in the eighth."(Hudson) did a good job of battling back from a rough start to the game, but we thought seven innings was enough," acting manager Alan Trammell said.Hudson has won six of seven decisions after starting the season with four consecutive defeats but might have to be careful with young Marlins slugger Mike Stanton.Stanton is trying to become the first Florida player to homer in four straight contests since Josh Willingham from Sept. 22-26, 2008. He finished a double shy of the cycle in his previous matchup against Hudson on June 1.The Marlins and Diamondbacks have alternated wins in the last 12 games in the series.