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Win snaps streak of 7 no-decisions by starters

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- As well as Oakland's starters have
pitched the last week, it took a shutout from Tim Hudson for them
to get any credit for it.

Hudson pitched an eight-hitter to end a record-tying run of
seven straight no-decisions for Athletics starters and Oakland beat
the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 Saturday.

"It was like an automatic that we would break the record,"
said Hudson, who had four no-decisions in his first 11 starts,
including three leads blown by the bullpen.

"It's good to put an end to that streak. It's nice to go out
and get a decision."

Scott Hatteberg hit a three-run homer in the third inning
against Pat Hentgen (2-5) and Bobby Crosby added a solo shot in the
fourth. That proved to be more than enough for Hudson (6-2), who
improved to 69-2 in his career when getting at least four runs of
support.

"I've faced him before so I know what he's capable of doing,"
A's outfielder Mark Kotsay said. "We know if we score a couple of
runs with our starting pitching that we have a legitimate chance to
win the ballgame."

The starters pitched well during the stretch of no-decisions,
posting a 1.84 ERA, but spotty relief and a lack of hitting hurt
Oakland.

Hudson made sure none of that mattered, pitching his seventh
career shutout to earn just the second win from one of Oakland's
stellar starters in the last 13 games.

He walked one, struck out five and didn't allow a runner to
reach third base until the ninth inning.

"Anytime you get a hit off that guy, it's because he left the
ball somewhere he didn't want to leave it, because he can make the
ball do all kinds of different things," Blue Jays manager Carlos
Tosca said.

Hudson was helped out by his defense. Crosby made an
over-the-shoulder, snow-cone grab in shallow center to rob Chris
Gomez of a hit with a runner on second in the second.

Then in the fourth, center fielder Mark Kotsay made a long run
and crashed into the wall to take an extra-base hit away from
Vernon Wells.

With two on and one out in the eighth, Crosby started a 6-6-3
double play to end the inning.

"Everybody played well on defense," Hudson said. "It was an
all-around solid effort for everybody."

The A's have scored just 25 runs the last eight games and only
10 in four games since losing All-Star third baseman Eric Chavez.
But because of their pitching, they still won three of those four
games.

"We still have to score some runs," Hatteberg said. "But it's
no secret that our success hinges completely on our pitching. It
has been that way and will remain that way until the team is built
differently."

Hentgen struggled with his control early. He went to three-ball
counts on six of the first nine hitters and also hit one. But he
got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and struck out the side
in order in the second.

Consecutive one-out singles by Mark McLemore and Kotsay in the
second preceded Hatteberg's sixth homer of the season that made it
3-0.

Crosby then connected on the second pitch of the fourth inning
for his eighth homer of the season.

Hentgen didn't give up another hit before leaving after seven
innings. He lost his fifth straight decision in Oakland and is
winless in nine starts here since 1997.

"We just came across a real good pitcher on top of his game,"
Hentgen said.

Game notes
There was a moment of silence after the fifth inning and
the flags in the Coliseum were lowered to half staff in honor of
President Ronald Reagan, who died Saturday. ... Hudson is 14-1 with
a 1.62 ERA in his last 21 day starts and has not lost outdoors
during the day since May 9, 2002, against Boston. ... The Blue Jays
had won three straight series before dropping two of the first
three in Oakland. They can salvage a split and a 4-3 West Coast
trip with a win Sunday. ... Blue Jays reliever Valerio De Los
Santos pitched to one batter in the eighth before leaving with a
shoulder injury. He will be reevaluated ... According to the Elias
Sports Bureau, the last team to go seven straight games without a
decision from a starter was Baltimore last month.