BALTIMORE (AP) -- No longer is there any reason to doubt Tim
Hudson's effectiveness following a six-week stint on the disabled
Hudson pitched a five-hitter to earn his first victory since
June 11, and Scott Hatteberg's second grand slam of the season
highlighted a four-homer attack that carried the Oakland Athletics
past the Baltimore Orioles 11-0 Tuesday night.
Hudson (8-4) struck out four and walked none in his third
complete game this season and 16th of his career. It was his third
start since his stay on the DL with a ribcage injury.
"I feel like I haven't missed a beat, and I don't how it's
happened," he said. "It was just one of those nights. You wish
you could bottle it up. Next time out, I may stink, so I'm going to
savor this one."
Judging by his effortless performance against the Orioles, it's
hard to imagine Hudson being anything but solid. He threw 97
pitches, 66 in the strike zone, in his eighth career shutout.
"Shutouts don't come too often for me. I'm usually a seven- or
eight-inning pitcher," he said. "I didn't put a lot of emphasis
in finishing the game, but a shutout looks good in the stats
Asked if it was one of the best starts of his career, Hudson
replied, "It was definitely up there."
Hudson is 8-1 with a 2.09 ERA in nine career starts against the
Orioles. He helped Oakland maintain a half-game lead over
second-place Texas in the AL West.
"He kept the ball down, got quick outs, had a good fastball and
maintained that velocity throughout the entire game," Orioles
manager Lee Mazzilli said. "He looked the same in the ninth inning
as he did in the beginning of the game."
The loss ended Baltimore's run of winning four straight series.
The Orioles had won 11 of 13 games overall and eight straight at
home before Oakland came to town.
Center fielder Jerry Hairston twisted his left ankle trying to
make a leaping catch on Melhuse's homer in the eighth inning and
had to helped off the field.
X-rays were inconclusive, but Hairston feared he broke a bone.
Hairston is to have a bone scan on Wednesday.
"It doesn't look good," said Mazzilli, who gathered his
players behind closed doors and stressed the importance of putting
the loss behind them.
"I told them we've got to be positive. We've been playing good
baseball the past two or three weeks, and a game like this
happens," he said. "I don't want this to take away from what
we've achieved. We're all mad that we got our heads handed to us,
but that's OK. It's over with now."
Dye snapped a scoreless duel in the fifth, hitting a two-out
solo shot off Rodrigo Lopez (10-8) on a 3-2 pitch. It was his 19th
homer, but only the second since July 19.
Singles by Melhuse and Marco Scutaro chased Lopez with one out
in the sixth. John Parrish retired Mark Kotsay, but Byrnes followed
with an RBI single. Parrish then walked Eric Chavez to load the
bases, and Todd Williams walked Dye to force in a run.
Hatteberg followed with a drive to right that barely cleared the
outstretched arm of Jay Gibbons and put Oakland up 7-0. It was his
14th homer of the season and fourth career slam.
"I didn't hit it very good, just barely put it out," Hatteberg
said. "I was hoping it carried to the scoreboard. I thought it
would get caught."
Byrnes connected off Williams with a man on in the seventh, and
Melhuse hit a two-run homer off Eddy Rodriguez in the eighth.
Oakland loaded the bases with one out in the second before Lopez
struck out Bobby Crosby and retired Scutaro on a fly ball. In the
third, Hatteberg hit a routine fly after the A's got runners on the
corners with two outs.
Hatteberg has eight career homers against the Orioles, tied
with Texas for the most against any team. ... Crosby went 0-for-4
and is 1-for-23 over his last seven games. ... Baltimore's David
Newhan singled in the first inning and has hit safely in 44 of 55
games this season. ... Chavez returned after a two-day absence with
a stiff back. ... Dye is 4-for-13 in his career against Lopez,
including two homers. ... The Orioles went over 2 million in
attendance for the 16th straight season. ... Oakland has five
shutouts; Baltimore has been blanked nine times.