Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/18)

Game 1: Friday, September 17
Game 2: Saturday, September 18
Game 3: Sunday, September 19

Athletics 7

(86-62, 37-37 away)

Mariners 4

(56-92, 37-41 home)

4:05 PM ET, September 18, 2004

Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington 

123456789 R H E
OAK 000023002 7 12 0
SEA 000100201 4 9 1

W: T. Hudson (12-5)

L: C. Baek (1-4)

Hudson wins fifth of last six starts

SEATTLE (AP) -- Tim Hudson has been through too many must-win games to start feeling the pressure now.

Hudson beat the Seattle Mariners for the third time this season and Eric Chavez hit his 29th homer, leading the Oakland Athletics to a 7-4 victory Saturday.

The A's moved two games ahead of Anaheim in the AL West with 14 games left for each team, including six against each other. The Angels lost to Texas 2-0 on Saturday.

"The pressure is no more than any other year," said Hudson, who has helped pitch the A's into the playoffs in four straight seasons.

"We're kind of used to it," he said. "The races around here are always tight and they always go down to the last couple series of the season. I don't know if it puts more pressure on you."

Erubiel Durazo tied his career high with four hits, and Marco Scutaro tied his high with three RBI for Oakland.

Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki went 1-for-5 with his 200th single. He has 236 hits this season, 21 from tying the season record set by George Sisler with the St. Louis Browns in 1920. Suzuki broke the major league mark for singles in a season Friday night.

Hudson (12-5) won for the fifth time in six decisions and improved his career record against the Mariners to 12-5, including 3-0 this year. He's beaten Seattle six times in seven decisions since Sept. 14, 2002, and is 7-2 at Safeco Field.

Hudson gave up three runs and eight hits in eight innings. A's closer Octavio Dotel gave up Jose Lopez's RBI single in the ninth.

Hudson said he wasn't at his best in his third start of the season against the Mariners.

"I didn't feel great out there. I just didn't feel real sharp," he said. "I pretty much threw them my sinker and hopefully they hit it in the ground somewhere. But I was able to make some big pitches when I needed to. It wasn't one of my best, but I'll take it."

Mariners manager Bob Melvin said Hudson won despite not being at the top of his game.

"That is probably as vulnerable as we've seen him in my two years here," Melvin said. "But he's still a horse out there."

Chavez, hitting .211 in September coming into the game, led off the sixth against Cha Seung Baek (1-4) with his fifth homer against Seattle this season. He has 25 career homers against the Mariners, his most against any team.

Scutaro's two-run double in the fifth gave the A's a 2-1 lead. Durazo singled to lead off the inning, Bobby Crosby was hit by a pitch and the runners advanced on Baek's wild pitch before Scutaro's double.

The A's scored three runs in the sixth to go ahead 5-1. After Chavez's homer, Damian Miller was walked by Scott Atchison with the bases loaded for Oakland's second run of the inning. The A's got their third run on a fielder's choice by Scutaro.

The Mariners got a two-run homer from Randy Winn in the seventh to cut their deficit to 5-3. It was Winn's 14th homer to match his career high set in 2002 with Tampa Bay.

"Randy hit a two-run homer off Hudson and they didn't even get anybody up in the bullpen," Melvin said. "That's what the A's think of him."

Jermaine Dye and Durazo singled in runs for Oakland in the ninth.

Dye, the A's regular right fielder, was back in the lineup for the first time since Sept. 3 and went 2-for-5. Dye sprained his left thumb Aug. 6 at Minnesota.

Oakland manager Ken Macha thinks Dye will be a major factor for his team in the final two weeks of the season because Dye protects his lineup against left-handers because he hits them well.

"You get a little tired watching them just run one left-hander after another in there," he said.

The Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on consecutive singles by Raul Ibanez, Bret Boone and rookie Greg Dobbs.

Baek lost his fourth straight start, pitching 5 1-3 innings and allowing five runs and six hits.

Game notes

Mariners DH Edgar Martinez, who is retiring at the end of the season, fouled a ball off his big right toe in the seventh and was unable to bat in the ninth because his toe was swollen and bruised. Melvin said he wouldn't play Sunday against Oakland. Trainer Rick Griffin said he's not sure when Martinez can play again. "We'll have to keep him off it," Griffin said. ... Dobbs, whose three-run double triggered the Mariners' five-run seventh in a 6-3 win Friday night, has six RBI in eight games since being promoted from Triple-A Tacoma Sept. 6. ... RHP Julio Mateo pitched in his first game for Seattle since July 28. He was on the DL from July 29-Sept. 16 with tendinitis in his pitching elbow.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press