The Oakland Athletics finally lost a series to a National League Central opponent.
Now they’ll try to avoid the sweep as they wrap up their interleague series with the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
The AL West-leading Athletics were 18-0 against the NL Central before losing the first two games of this series, including Wednesday’s 6-2 decision. They averaged more than 10 runs per game during an eight-game winning streak that ended Tuesday.
Tim Hudson, who boasts the second-best ERA in the AL at 2.80, will be on the mound for Oakland.
The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his last three starts, including a 6-1 home win over Pittsburgh on Friday. He won despite hitting three batters to tie an Oakland single-game record. He has hit 45 batters in his career, also tying Mike Norris for the most by an Oakland pitcher.
“Before I leave here I’m going to have one record—at least,” said Hudson, who allowed one run and five hits over seven innings. “Luckily, I hung around long enough to get a ‘W’ out of it. I don’t have terrible control, but every now and then, I don’t know where it comes from, a pitch gets away from me. That’s the last thing I wanted to do.”
The Cardinals have won three straight and 12 of 15 to move a season-best 11 games above .500.
Jeff Suppan, whose 3.53 ERA is the best among Cardinals starters, will start Thursday.
The right-hander was a 12-7 winner at Texas on Friday, giving up two runs and seven hits over six innings. It was his third victory in four decisions.
In 12 starts this season, Suppan has allowed more than three runs just twice.
He is only 2-5 in 10 career starts against the A’s, but has pitched to a 3.29 ERA in those outings.