Hudson won back-to-back starts on July 22 and 27, yielding one run and five hits over 16 brilliant innings. The right-hander looked sharp again on Friday, allowing two runs and four hits over seven innings in Oakland’s 3-2, 10-inning victory over the New York Yankees.
Hudson watched from the dugout as rookie sensation Rich Harden remained unbeaten, tossing six solid innings in Tuesday’s series-opening 7-2 win. Harden, a heralded rookie right-hander, joins Hudson, Barry Zito and Mark Mulder in giving Oakland perhaps the most imposing front four of any starting rotation.
He is unbeaten in his first four big league outings, yielding two runs or fewer in each start while striking out 23.
Hudson has surrendered two runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts and boasts the AL’s third-best ERA at 2.60.
The A’s have won nine of 12 to move within a half-game of Boston in the AL wild card race. Oakland is four games back of first-place Seattle in the AL West.
The Tigers, on pace to eclipse the 1962 New York Mets (120 losses) as the worst team in big league history, have dropped seven of eight.
STANDINGS: Athletics - 2nd place, 4 GB, AL West. Tigers - 5th place, 30 1/2 GB, AL Central.
ATHLETICS PROBABLE STARTER: Hudson (9-4, 2.60 ERA). Hudson is 7-2 with a 3.20 ERA in 11 career starts against the Tigers.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Wilfredo Ledezma (3-5, 4.57 ERA). Ledezma has lost his last three starts, yielding 15 runs over 13 innings. The rookie left-hander was reached for four runs and six hits over four innings in a 4-0 loss at Seattle on Thursday, striking out four and walking a season-high six. He is 0-1 with a 16.20 ERA in two relief appearances against the A’s this year, yielding three earned runs and five hits in 1 2-3 innings.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Athletics - Eric Byrnes, .277 avg.; Eric Chavez, 20 HRs and 8 SBs; Miguel Tejada, 71 RBIs and 65 runs. Tigers - Dmitri Young, .290 avg., 22 HRs, 60 RBIs and 54 runs; Alex Sanchez, 25 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Athletics, 5-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Athletics - RHP Hudson is 4-3 with a 2.97 ERA in 10 road starts this year. … The A’s are hitting .500 (5-for-10) with a homer and four RBIs off LHP Ledezma. … Oakland has won five of its last six on the road. Tigers - Ledezma is 2-2 with a 4.07 ERA in 13 appearances, including three starts, at Comerica this season. … C A.J. Hinch left Tuesday’s game in the eighth with a groin injury. He was on the DL for two weeks last month with the same problem. … 1B Young is 2-for-7 with a homer and three RBIs in his career against Hudson.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Athletics - 25-29 on the road; Tigers - 13-38 at home.