Hudson allowed one run in seven innings Friday night to lead the A’s past the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 for their season-high sixth straight win.
Hudson (7-2) allowed five hits, walked two and struck out five, but he also hit 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,” Hudson said jokingly. “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.”
“I think we’ve played the Pirates three times in the last century, so I don’t think there is anybody trying to hit anyone,” A’s manager Ken Macha said. “Huddy didn’t have the command he would have liked.”
Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon acknowledged Hudson’s command problems, but remained upset.
“He was erratic, but Hudson lost his control? You’ve got to be kidding me,” McClendon said. “I just don’t understand issuing warnings and guys still remain in the game. We might as well not issue warnings.”
The A’s have won all 16 interleague games against NL Central opponents, and are off to their best start since the 1992 team also opened the season 35-24.
Miller has driven in 16 runs in his last five games after driving in 11 in his first 37.
“It goes in cycles like that,” Miller said. “You get opportunities and sometimes you come through and sometimes you don’t. Right now, I am seeing the ball well and I have a decent approach at the plate. Every time that I get up there, there are guys in scoring position.”
Kris Benson (4-6) gave up four runs on three hits, walked two and hit two batters in six-plus innings. He failed to win in his sixth straight June start dating to 2002. Benson lost his third straight overall as Pittsburgh starters dropped to 0-7 in their last 11 games.
“He was dominating for six innings and before you know it the bases are loaded very quickly,” McClendon said. “I can’t explain the seventh inning. It’s a very disappointing loss.”
Benson carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Erubiel Durazo led off with a double. He eventually scored on Miller’s sacrifice fly, which tied it at 1.
“I just got beat; I didn’t do anything different,” Benson said. “I had some bad luck in the seventh inning and didn’t get the outs when I needed them. Durazo hit a good pitch, but it was the walk that killed me there.”
Brian Meadows replaced Benson and gave up a run-scoring single to Miller to put the A’s in front. A wild pitch allowed Durazo to score, and Scutaro followed with an RBI single.
Scutaro hit an RBI single in the eighth, and Esteban German walked with thebases loaded to force in another run for Oakland.
Pirates C Jason Kendall struck out twice, the first time this season he fanned more than once. … Mackowiak hit .184 (7-for-38) in his previous 10 games, after being named NL co-Player of the Week on May 30. … RHP Ryan Vogelsong’s six-game losing streak is the longest by a Pirates pitcher since Todd Ritchie dropped eight straight in 2001. … A’s LHP Ricardo Rincon threw before the game to test back spasms which have kept him out of action since May29.