SEATTLE (AP) -- It's mid-April and the Oakland Athletics were
already playing with a sense of urgency.
"Obviously, nobody wants to get on a streak of six losses,''
said Tim Hudson, who outpitched Freddy Garcia again as the A's
ended a six-game losing string with a 4-1 win over Seattle on
"It was nice, it definitely was,'' Hudson said. "Hopefully, we
can get on a different streak now.''
Eric Chavez gave Hudson (2-1) all the offense he needed with a
two-run home run in the first inning, his second homer in two
nights and his third of the season.
"All the pitchers know we're struggling right now so they want
to pitch good,'' Chavez said. "We knew what we had to do
Erubiel Durazo hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Giovanni
Carrara, Seattle's second pitcher.
The Mariners had a four-game winning string broken.
"Huddy had great stuff,'' said A's manager Ken Macha, who had a
funny story to tell on Chavez after his team's much-needed victory.
"Eric broke his bat and the kid (bat boy) came and picked out a
bat,'' Macha said. "Then he went up there and hit the home run
with it. Then he came in for his next at- bat and said he didn't
like that bat. I said, 'How can you not like that bat?'''
The key to the game was Hudson, who beat Seattle for the second
time this season. He limited the Mariners to five singles and no
walks, with seven strikeouts in eight innings.
He beat Garcia and the Mariners 5-0 on April 1 in Oakland, when
he pitched eight scoreless innings. In two starts against Seattle
in 2003, he's allowed one run on 10 hits, including a double, with
two walks and 11 strikeouts in 16 innings.
Hudson threw only 92 pitches, 66 for strikes. He went to ball
three on only one hitter, Mark McLemore in the fourth when he wound up with a strikeout.
"I was able to go out there and just throw strikes,'' Hudson
said. "I didn't have a lot of deep counts.''
Keith Foulke pitched the ninth for his fourth save in four
Until Durazo's homer, Hudson was in line to pitch his first
complete game of the season.
"Hudson was going back out,'' Macha said. "Foulke was going to
Garcia (1-3) pitched well, but not well enough. In seven-plus
innings, he gave up two runs on four hits and four walks, with
Chavez confirmed Macha's story about the bat he didn't like. He
was coerced into using it in his next at-bat in the fourth, when he
struck out swinging.
"It's just too big, too heavy,'' Chavez said. "I like skinny
bats. The manufacturer actually messed it up.''
The Mariners bunched three of their singles in the fourth for
their run. Randy Winn and Bret Boone singled to put runners at
first and second. With one out, John Olerud singled to center to
score Winn and send Boone to third.
But Hudson faked a throw to third and caught Olerud leaning too
far toward second, picking him off. He then struck out Mark
McLemore to end the inning.
Seattle manager Bob Melvin thought Hudson balked on the pickoff
play and came to the plate to argue with umpire Angel Hernandez.
"It looked to me like he was stepping towards home plate, but
the umpire had a different idea,'' Melvin said.
Of course, Hudson saw it differently.
"I've got to pull out all of the tricks I can,'' he said with a
Carrara, whose wife delivered twin boys in Miami, Fla., last
Sunday, returned to the team and replaced Garcia in the eighth
after Eric Byrnes led off with a single.
Hudson improved his career record to 9-4 against the
Mariners, whom he beat for the third time in a row since losing 7-1
last June 25 in Seattle. ... Safeco Field's retractable roof was
closed during the second inning. The roof has been closed by the
end of four of the Mariners' nine home games this season. ...
McLemore was thrown out attempting to steal second in the seventh,
the first time the Mariners have been caught in 10 steal attempts
this season. ... A's C Ramon Hernandez has thrown out five out of
11 runners attempting to steal on him this season. ... AL MVP
Tejada was 0-for-4 and is off to an 11-for-63 (.175) start.