Oakland hopes to maintain its slim lead in the AL West when the A’s continue their four-game series against the last place Seattle Mariners. The A’s have lost five of seven to reduce their lead in the AL West to one game over the surging Anaheim Angels.
Despite the emergence of Mark Mulder and Barry Zito, Hudson has been the most consistent Oakland pitcher over the last five seasons. The 29-year-old Hudson has a 19-7 record and a 3.13 ERA in 32 regular season starts in September and October for the A’s.
Hudson, who is 12-5 with 3.33 ERA this season, pitched Game 1 in the AL division series for Oakland in each of the last two season.
The A’s hope Hudson can get them some breathing room in the AL West race.
The A’s, the two-time defending division champions, have been in first place in the AL West for 53 straight days—their longest stretch since 1992. when they spent the final 61 days of the season in sole possession of the lead.
Oakland held Ichiro Suzuki to one hit, leaving him five shy of George Sisler’s 84-year-old record of 257. The Mariners have six games remaining.
“It would be outstanding if he broke the record here and didn’t hurt us in the process,” said A’s infielder Mark McLemore, who played with Suzuki the past three seasons in Seattle. “I got to see the majority of the hits.”
Suzuki has struggled against Hudson over his four-year career. The 2001 MVP has a .211 (12-for-57) batting average with five strikeouts against him. Suzuki is 4-for-11 against Hudson this season.