With his team struggling of late, Tim Hudson will try to come through with another strong start when the Oakland Athletics continue their weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Network Associates Coliseum.
The A’s have dropped three straight and six of nine, but at least they know they can turn to a Hudson on Saturday.
The right-hander was brilliant in his last outing, firing a two-hitter—a pair of infield singles—and needing just 93 pitches in a 4-0 victory over Pedro Martinez and the Boston Red Sox on Monday. He faced just 28 batters while dominating one of the best hitting teams in the majors.
“That was about as good a performance by any pitcher against anybody as you’re likely to see,” Boston manager Grady Little said. “He was pinpoint perfect, and his stuff was good, and that’s a deadly combination.”
Hudson has won a season-high four straight decisions and is 6-1 with a 1.39 ERA in his last 10 starts. Opponents are batting just .166 against him during that span.
The right-hander is 2-0 in August and has won his last eight decisions in that month.
Eric Hinske hit two home runs and matched a career high with four RBIs as the Blue Jays beat the A’s 8-5 on Friday night.
Oakland fell five games behind AL West leader Seattle and remained a game behind the wild card-leading Red Sox, who lost 10-5 to the Mariners.
Toronto has won two straight, improving to 3-2 on a difficult seven-game road trip to Seattle and Oakland.
STANDINGS: Blue Jays - 3rd place, 13 GB, AL East. Athletics - 2nd place, 5 GB, AL West.
BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Mark Hendrickson (7-8, 5.17 ERA). Hendrickson had been 0-2 in his previous three starts before beating Seattle on Monday. The left-hander allowed two runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings of the Blue Jays’ 5-3 victory. He has made one career appearance against Oakland, pitching one scoreless inning.
ATHLETICS PROBABLE STARTER: Hudson (11-4, 2.51 ERA). Hudson is 6-1 with a 2.64 ERA in nine career starts against Toronto, including 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA in four starts in Oakland.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Blue Jays - Vernon Wells, .312 avg.; Carlos Delgado, 33 HRs, 113 RBIs and 94 runs; Bobby Kielty, 6 SBs. Athletics - Jose Guillen, .288 avg.; Eric Chavez, 23 HRs; Miguel Tejada, 75 RBIs and 66 runs; Eric Byrnes, 9 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Blue Jays, 1-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Blue Jays - OF Wells has a 10-game hitting streak. … 3B Hinske is a former A’s prospect. … RHP Brian Bowles was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Friday and will be used in relief. Athletics - 2B Mark Ellis has gone 17 games without driving in a run. … The A’s are 13-7 against AL East teams this season after going just 23-22 last year. … Oakland is 24-15 against Toronto since 1999.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jays - 35-29 on the road; Athletics - 42-21 at home.
INJURIES: Blue Jays - RHP Cory Lidle (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Pete Walker (calf), 15-day DL; LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (calf), 60-day DL. Athletics - OF Jermaine Dye (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Micah Bowie (elbow), 15-day DL.