Coming off a brilliant performance against one of the best teams in baseball, Tim Hudson will try to avoid a letdown against the worst as the Oakland Athletics continue their series in Detroit against the Tigers.
Hudson shut down the New York Yankees on Friday, limiting them to two earned runs and five hits over eight innings in a 7-2 win. It was the first victory since April 27 for the right-hander, who was coming off three straight starts without a decision.
“It’s been a while,” said Hudson, who has won 11 of his last 12 decisions dating to last season. “I waited three weeks for one. I was definitely ready to get a decision, win or loss. The way it was going, I would have taken the loss.”
The Athletics, the defending AL West champions, are 7-1 in Hudson’s starts this season, and have beaten the Tigers in eight straight road games, including Tuesday’s 3-1 triumph in the series opener.
Miguel Tejada drove in two runs for Oakland, which won for the seventh time in its last nine overall. The reigning AL MVP is batting .421 (8-for-19) over his last six games with three homers, a double and seven RBIs.
With wins in five of their previous seven, the Tigers—the only team in the majors with fewer than 11 wins—had been enjoying their best stretch of the season.
Shane Halter went 2-for-3 Tuesday and drove in Detroit’s lone run. The second baseman is batting .438 (7-for-16) with three RBIs over his last four games.
STANDINGS: Athletics - 1st place (tied), AL West. Tigers - 5th place, 15 GB, AL Central.
ATHLETICS PROBABLE STARTER: Hudson (3-1, 3.12 ERA). Since a 9-5 road loss to Anaheim on April 11, Hudson is 2-0 with a 2.36 ERA in five starts. He faced the Tigers on April 22, but didn’t get the decision in the A’s 6-5 home win, giving up three earned runs and three hits over 7 2-3 innings. He is 7-2 against the Tigers with a 3.44 ERA in 10 career starts.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Gary Knotts (1-3, 4.83 ERA). Knotts allowed four earned runs and six hits over five innings in a 9-4 win at Baltimore last Wednesday. It was the first American League win for the right-hander, who went 4-2 the past two seasons with the Florida Marlins. Knotts has never faced Oakland.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Athletics - Ramon Hernandez, .315 avg.; Eric Chavez and Tejada, 8 HRs; Erubiel Durazo, 29 RBIs and 23 runs; Chavez, 3 SBs. Tigers - Bobby Higginson, .252 avg., 18 runs and 4 SBs.; Dmitri Young, 5 HRs and 18 RBIs.
SEASON SERIES: Athletics, 3-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Athletics - OF Eric Byrnes is batting .368 (7-for-19) during a five-game hitting streak with a double, a triple, a homer and five RBIs. … RHP Keith Foulke is tied for the AL lead with 11 saves. … 3B Frank Menechino’s two hits this season have both come against Detroit. He was 1-for-2 on Tuesday. Menechino is expected to play Wednesday because 3B Chavez is still day-to-day with a hand injury. Tigers - The Tigers’ current roster is batting .143 (12-for-84) against RHP Hudson. … Only two of Detroit’s eight wins have come at home. … The Tigers have lost 15 of the last 18 meetings with Oakland.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Athletics - 8-9 on the road; Tigers - 2-13 at home.