OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Tim Hudson wasn't bothered by the few
pitches that got away from him. He made plenty of others to give
the Oakland Athletics a chance to win.
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."Hudson lowered his AL-leading ERA to 1.15 and is 4-0 in five
home starts. Chris Hammond pitched a hitless eighth, and Justin
Duchscherer threw a scoreless ninth."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."Damian Miller and Marco Scutaro each drove in two runs for the
A's, who sent the Pirates to their sixth consecutive defeat.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."The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first when Rob Mackowiak
doubled home Jack Wilson. Pittsburgh has scored first in each of
its last six games.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.The Pirates threatened in the sixth when Mackowiak doubled and
Randall Simon was hit by a pitch to open the inning. Hudson got
Bobby Hill to hit into a double play and thwart the rally.The A's loaded the bases in the seventh as Scott Hatteberg
walked, Durazo singled and Bobby Crosby was hit by a pitch, ending
Benson's night."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 the bases 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 May 29.