The 28-year-old right-hander’s 6-2 setback to the Minnesota Twins on Thursday—his first loss since June 21—started a four-game losing streak for the A’s in which Mark Mulder and Barry Zito also suffered defeats.
The only other time Hudson, Mulder and Zito, dubbed Oakland’s “Big Three”, have lost consecutive decisions was April 27-29, 2001, against the Yankees in New York.
Hudson, who was 2-0 with a 1.79 ERA between defeats, was reached for six runs—four earned—and 11 hits over seven innings against the Twins, striking out two and walking one.
“They’re so tough against everybody and I think teams gear up for them,” A’s first baseman Scott Hatteberg said.
The A’s ended their four-game losing streak with Monday’s 6-1 win as the highly touted Rich Harden tossed seven sharp innings in his major league debut.
Oakland drew five straight walks with two outs in the ninth to snap a 1-1 tie before breaking the game open.
The AL Central-leading Royals had taken three of four from the AL West-leading Seattle Mariners before Monday’s loss, which pitcher Jason Grimsley attributed to QuesTec—the machine that monitors ball-and-strike calls by umpires.
”(QuesTec) has taken away from the game,” Grimsley said. “I don’t think they should have machines at all. It’s a game played my men and judged by men. That’s the human element.”
Though manager Tony Pena refused to talk about the system after the game, he expressed his displeasure by getting thrown out in the ninth inning. It was the second time in as many days Pena was ejected.
STANDINGS: Athletics - 2nd place, 5 GB, AL West. Royals - 1st place, AL Central.
ATHLETICS PROBABLE STARTER: Tim Hudson (7-4, 2.82 ERA). Hudson is 1-3 with a 5.01 ERA in eight career starts against the Royals.
ROYALS PROBABLE STARTER: Kris Wilson (5-0, 4.99 ERA). Wilson makes just his third start of the season, coming out of the bullpen to replace injured right-hander Jose Lima. Lima left Thursday’s 7-1 win over Seattle with a strained groin and expects to miss at least one start. Wilson is 2-0 with a 3.97 ERA in his two starts this season, most recently an 11-6 victory over the A’s on May 30 in which he allowed four runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings. Wilson is 2-0 with a 3.93 ERA in four career starts against Oakland, including three starts.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Athletics - Eric Byrnes, .287 avg.; Eric Chavez, 17 HRs; Miguel Tejada, 57 RBIs; Tejada, 54 runs; Byrnes and Chavez, 7 SBs. Royals - Raul Ibanez, .291 avg. and 57 runs; Carlos Beltran and Michael Tucker, 13 HRs; Ibanez and Beltran, 57 RBIs; Beltran, 26 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Athletics, 6-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Athletics - Oakland leads the majors with 11 complete games, including four in the last 14. … The A’s have won four consecutive season series from the Royals at Kansas City, and are 28-10 against them since the 2000 season. … OF Byrnes went 0-for-3 Monday and is hitting .083 (5-for-60) over his last 15 games, dropping his average 48 points to .287. It is the lowest his average has been since it was .250 on April 27. Royals - OF Tucker is batting .445 with three doubles, a homer and six RBIs in 11 career at-bats against RHP Hudson. … OF Beltran stole his AL-leading 27th base Monday and has been successful on his last 25 attempts. … The Royals activated RHP Kyle Snyder from the disabled list and INF Julius Matos was optioned to Triple-A Omaha. Snyder had been on the DL since July 1 with a right shoulder strain.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Athletics - 19-27 on the road; Royals - 29-22 at home.
INJURIES: Athletics - OF Jermaine Dye (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Micah Bowie (elbow), 15-day DL. Royals - INF Mendy Lopez (calf), 15-day DL; INF Joe Randa (oblique), 15-day DL; 1B Mike Sweeney (back), 15-day DL; RHP Miguel Asencio (elbow), 60-day DL.