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ATHLETIC-RED SOX REPORT

A's Hudson Would Start on Sunday

October 04, 2003|From Associated Press

Tim Hudson will start Game 4 for Oakland if the Athletics can't close out their first-round playoff series against the Boston Red Sox today.

A's Manager Ken Macha said he wanted to see Hudson throw at the off-day workout on Friday before deciding whether to bring the right-hander back on three days' rest. Hudson threw 25 pitches at Fenway Park and did well.

"I'm fine with it," Hudson said. "I was kind of assuming all along that we're going to do that. I was preparing as if I was going to go."

Oakland leads Boston, 2-0, in the best-of-five series. If the A's don't win Game 3 today, Hudson will face John Burkett on Sunday.

The last time Hudson pitched on three days' rest was in Game 4 of last season's first-round series against Minnesota. He yielded seven runs -- two earned -- and five hits in 3 1/3 innings as the Twins won, 11-2. The Twins won the series in five games.

Hudson was 16-7 with a 2.70 earned-run average that was second to Boston's Pedro Martinez in the American League. Hudson faced Martinez in Game 1 of the series -- giving up three runs in 6 2/3 innings -- and neither got a decision as the A's won, 5-4, in the 12 innings.

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Martinez will be held back for a potential fifth game rather than pitch on short rest in Game 4.

"He would have been available for Game 4, but in the position we're in now, we have to win three games," Red Sox Manager Grady Little said. "He can't pitch all the games."

The Red Sox would have to win today and Sunday in Boston to force a Game 5. But Little said he would rather save the three-time Cy Young winner for when he would be strongest.

Martinez started Game 1 against Oakland on Wednesday and left after seven innings with a 4-3 lead. He gave up six hits and four walks in seven innings, throwing a season-high 130 pitches.

Martinez has not pitched on three days' rest in six seasons since joining the Red Sox. He led the league this season with a 2.22 ERA and .215 opponents' batting average and was second with 206 strikeouts and a .778 winning percentage (14-4).

Derek Lowe is scheduled to start today against the A's Ted Lilly in Game 3.

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