Tim Hudson has been virtually unhittable so far this season.
The right-hander will look to turn in another dominating performance and slow down a streaking Seattle squad as the Oakland Athletics and Mariners resume their four-game series at Safeco Field.
Hudson has allowed just three earned runs in his three starts this season. He gave up six hits in 7 1-3 innings of Friday’s 3-0 win over the Anaheim Angels.
“You’re not going to go through a lineup like that and just dominate them all night,” Hudson said. “It just so happened that when they squared the ball up, it went right at someone and we made some plays.”
The Angels were a little more forthcoming with praise when asked to describe Hudson.
“That was typical Hudson,” Anaheim’s Adam Kennedy said. “You don’t hit that many balls hard off him, and when they’re making the plays behind him, it’s that much tougher. He has good movement on all his pitches and knows each hitter and what they do in situations. It’s not easy.”
Hudson threw 110 pitches against the Angels, one game after needing just 86 in a complete-game, 2-1 victory over the Mariners—the fewest in a complete game by an Oakland pitcher since Mark Mulder also threw 86 on Sept. 2, 2001, at Tampa Bay.
Hudson has been one of the best starters in baseball over the last four years, winning 20, 18, 15 and 16 games. He compiled a career-best 2.70 ERA last year.
Seattle starter Gil Meche will be trying for his first win of the season. The right-hander was pounded for five earned runs and seven hits in five innings of a 5-0 defeat to the Texas Rangers on Friday, one game after a disappointing 2-1 setback.
Meche went 15-13 last season after spending 2001 on the sidelines recovering from shoulder surgery and 2002 in the minors.
“I couldn’t get ahead in the count with my fastball,” Meche said Friday. “That’s why I went with breaking ball in the third, trying to get as many quick as I could and get in as many innings as I could to save the bullpen. It’s tough when you give all the momentum to the other pitcher.”
The Mariners beat the Athletics 2-1 on Tuesday for their fourth straight victory.
Raul Ibanez hit a game-tying home run in the seventh and the game-winner in the ninth for Seattle, which needed 14 innings to beat Oakland 2-1 on Monday.
Damian Miller homered for Oakland, which has lost two straight and four of six.