Hudson says control is shaky
SACRAMENTO -- Oakland Athletics pitcher Tim Hudson, making a rehab start for the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats, surrendered two earned runs and two hits in three innings against the Oklahoma Redhawks Saturday night, then proclaimed himself ready to rejoin his Major League team.
Hudson, who left the game with the River Cats trailing 2-1, saw action for the first time since he went on the disabled list on June 27 with a left oblique muscle strain.
Before a sellout crowd of 14,611, the A-s All-Star threw 64 pitches in his first effort since a June 22 loss in Anaheim, 36 of them in the third inning when he allowed both runs.
Hudson was to return to Oakland Saturday night, then fly to New York to rejoin the A's. He's expected to start against the New York Yankees Thursday.
"My hip felt good," Hudson said. "My command was a little shaky, but it's been a while since a real hitter has been in there. Any time you've been out like that, you're command is going to be off."
With his fastball consistently registering speeds in the low to mid-90s Saturday, Hudson started strong, retiring the first two batters he faced on ground outs before surrendering a broken-bat single to Jason Conti. He recorded four more outs in a row, two by strikeout, before enduring a shaky top of the third.
Hudson allowed just one hit in the third, but walked two batters, hit one, and threw the second of his two wild pitches. After loading the bases with no outs and a run home, he retired Conti on a fly ball to left, walked in a run, then got a strikeout and a ground out to end his night.
"I'm happy with (my effort)," Hudson said. "I had that jam in the third, but I was glad I was able to work out of it. I would have liked to go a little deeper in the game, but the third inning got my pitch count up a little bit."
Originally Hudson was expected to miss only a couple of starts with the A's, but he said he was fine with taking nearly six weeks off if it helped prevent further injury.
"Anytime you're not able to go out and help your team, it's frustrating," he said. "But what I wanted to do was get healthy again. What we wanted was to get this thing out of the way and not let it linger.
"Now I'm ready to get back out there and start helping the team win."
Sacramento beat Oklahoma 6-5.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press