Athletics 2, Mariners 1

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Tim Hudson clipped a pesky fingernail on his pitching hand after warming up, then went out and threw a gem.

Hudson pitched a four-hitter for the first complete game in the majors this season and the Oakland Athletics sent the Seattle Mariners to their fifth straight loss, 2-1 on Saturday.

“I felt like I was getting in a pretty good groove,” said Hudson, who had his share of hard luck last season despite winning 16 games. “After the first inning, I started locating the ball better, especially with my sinker. They came out aggressive in the first inning, but I was able to make some adjustments and get a lot of groundballs.”

Marco Scutaro had two hits, an RBI and scored a run for the A’s, who have won the AL West the last two seasons and are off to a strong start this year at 4-1.

Hudson (1-0) threw only 86 pitches and retired his final 11 batters. He struck out two, working ahead in the count and getting routine groundball outs. It was his 14th career complete game and first since Aug. 11 last year against Boston.

Hudson’s 86 pitches were the fewest in a complete game by an Oakland pitcher since Mark Mulder also threw 86 on Sept. 2, 2001, at Tampa Bay.

“Twenty-four batters over the last eight innings—quite a performance,” manager Ken Macha said. “I can’t say enough about the way he pitched.”

The Mariners, meanwhile, are looking for answers. Seattle is the only winless team in the majors.

Swept by Anaheim at Safeco Field to start the season, the Mariners are 0-5 for the first time since beginning 1994 with five straight losses. Their longest losing streak to start a season was six in 1991.

“With good teams, it’s that much more magnified, and we’re a good team,” second-year skipper Bob Melvin said before the game. Melvin did not address reporters after the game.

“You’re not going to panic but we have to win some games,” he said. “We don’t have to be the pacehorse like we have been the last couple years but you don’t want to fall too far behind.”

Scutaro’s two-out RBI double in the seventh scored Erubiel Durazo and tied it at 1.

Eddie Guardado, Seattle’s new closer, then made his first appearance of the season, relieving Gil Meche (0-1). Guardado, forced out of last Sunday’s exhibition finale against San Diego because of a stiff shoulder, immediately gave up a run-scoring single to Mark Kotsay.

“I didn’t do my job,” Guardado said. “We’re in a little funk right now. We need to keep battling. Let’s not panic.”

Meche is 0-4 with a 4.68 ERA in six career starts against the A’s.

“We’re playing backwards right now,” Meche said. “I just didn’t make one simple pitch, and that burns me. We can’t buy a break.”

Seattle tagged Hudson for three hits in the first inning before the right-hander retired the next 10 batters. Ichiro Suzuki led off with a double and scored on Raul Ibanez’s two-out single.

Rich Aurilia got aboard on an error by Kotsay in center field to start the fifth, but Hudson got Ben Davis to hit into a double play and Willie Bloomquist grounded out.

Scutaro has been a bright spot for the A’s already this season.

He became the starter because of injury, but is fitting in just fine. He’s batting .313 with five hits, three RBIs and three doubles.

“It’s been good so far. I just try to be consistent playing defense and hitting and try to take advantage of the opportunity they’ve given me,” hesaid. “I might never get this opportunity back in my life.”


A’s 2B Mark Ellis will miss the entire season with a right shoulder injury that requires surgery. Ellis, who has been rehabilitating in Phoenix, was in the Bay Area on Saturday to meet with team doctor Jerrald Goldman about the latest MRI on the shoulder. The test revealed a torn labrum, and Goldman will perform the operation. No date had been set. Ellis initially was expected to miss about two months after he dislocated his shoulder in a collision with SS Bobby Crosby during a spring training game against the Chicago Cubs on March 25. … Hudson is 10-5 in 20 career starts against Seattle. … Hudson allowed six hits and two runs in five innings during his opening day start against Texas last Monday. … RF Jermaine Dye is the only Oakland player with a hit inevery game.

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