Athletics 3, Tigers 2
The Athletics took advantage of two errors to break an eighth-inning tie and beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2 Thursday for their fifth win in six games.
“It would be nice to get some runs in a game,” joked Hudson, who improved to 13-1 in his last 19 day games dating to last June. “But it was nice to be there at the end, too. I thought it was going to be one of those games.”
Hudson (5-1) referred to his own penchant for no-decisions. He’s left games with the lead twice this season, only to see his bullpen fail to hold it. In 24 no-decisions over the past three years, he’s left with the lead 14 times.
Thanks to third baseman Eric Munson’s misplay, that didn’t happen.
“I’m hoping this is the game that turns the tide for Hudson as far as his luck is concerned,” A’s manager Ken Macha said. “It’s kind of tough when you’re not scoring runs for him and he’s coming out of games with a no-decision.”
Erubiel Durazo reached on a fielding error by first baseman Carlos Pena, went to second on Damian Miller’s sacrifice, advanced to third on Mark McLemore’s groundout and scored when Munson dived to stop pinch-hitter Billy McMillon’s sharp grounder but threw the ball wide of first.
“I tried to get up and get rid of it and threw it in the ground,” said Munson.
Tigers manager Alan Trammell thought Munson could have taken his time on the throw.
“There are two parts to that. You catch the ball and you throw it,” he said. “One was very nice but the other wasn’t. He made a great play and came up and had more time to throw it, but rushed it.”
Hudson allowed two runs and 10 hits over eight innings. He walked one and struck out two.
“Scoring runs against him is not easy,” Trammell said. “Hudson will not give up without a fight. He invents things and has a great feel for pitching. I enjoy watching him. I don’t like to get beat, but I like him.”
Arthur Rhodes pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 10 opportunities.
Jaime Walker (0-1) took the loss, giving up just one hit and the unearned run in the eighth.
Scott Hatteberg gave the A’s a 2-1 lead with his two-out double in the third. Tigers starter Gary Knotts walked Eric Byrnes and Eric Chavez before Hatteberg drove a ball down the right-field line. He was thrown out at third by catcher Brandon Inge trying to take the extra base on Bobby Higginson’s throw home.
Knotts, making his second start after nine relief appearances, lasted four innings. He gave up both runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Knotts, who was on a strict pitch count, threw 77 pitches.
The A’s loaded the bases with one out against Steve Colyer in the fifth, but Durazo struck out and Steve Dingman came in to strike out Miller.
Detroit tied the game with an unearned run in the seventh. With one out, Omar Infante was safe on Chavez’s throwing error. Alex Sanchez followed with a single and Higginson doubled off the wall in left. Sanchez was thrown out at the plate by Mark Kotsay on the play. Guillen was intentionally walked and White grounded out to end the threat.
Higginson had a nosebleed before his seventh-inning at-bat, and had cotton sticking out of his nose when he came to the plate.
“I was distracted by the nosebleed,” said Hudson. “I was looking at hisnose instead of the (catcher’s) glove.”
Tigers C Ivan Rodriguez was given the day off. … Higginson appeared in his 1,179th game in the outfield, matching Willie Horton for eighth on the Tigers’ career list. … Hudson has gone at least seven innings in eight straight starts, matching the longest such streak of his career. … A’s LHP Mark Mulder will be looking for his third straight complete game on Friday, a feat he has accomplished once in his career between April 24-May 6 last year…. Munson and Pena each snapped 0-for-16 streaks.