One bad inning by Tim Hudson proved to be too much for the struggling Giants to overcome against Scott Kazmir and the A’s.
Hudson allowed four straight extra-base hits for the first time in his career to open the four-run sixth and the Giants lost for the third time in four games of the Bay Bridge Series, falling 6-1 to the A’s on Thursday at AT&T Park.
“That sixth inning got away from me a little bit, a couple bad pitches that they took advantage of,” Hudson said. “They hit a couple decent pitches, I thought. It was a little bit of a weird inning. It kind of unraveled on us a little bit.”
That’s the way it has been going of late for the Giants, who have lost 15 of their past 19 home games and haven’t won consecutive games here in more than a month.
“We came across a pretty good team today that’s playing some good baseball and has been playing good baseball all year,” Hudson said. “Hopefully we can right the ship a little bit, play a little better baseball ourselves. How we’ve been playing the last month, that’s not the kind of team we are.”
Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer off Hudson (7-6) and Stephen Vogt drove in three runs for the A’s (58-34), who won have won seven of eight overall and have matched the best start in Oakland history.
Kazmir (11-3) struck out nine in seven scoreless innings to win his final start before heading to the All-Star Game next week. Kazmir has allowed one run or fewer in 11 of 19 starts this season for a 2.38 ERA. He is just two wins shy of matching his career best set in 2007 in Tampa Bay.
“The way he moves feet and moves eyes and dots up the corners and gets people to chase pitches is really remarkable,” Vogt said. “He’s doing such a great job.”
The game ended on a replay review when A’s manager Bob Melvin challenged a call that Vogt pulled his foot off first base on an infield hit by Gregor Blanco. The replay showed Vogt kept his foot on the bag, leading to the final out.
Kazmir retired the first eight batters before walking Hudson and didn’t allow a hit until Michael Morse’s leadoff single to center in the fifth.
Kazmir struck out Brandon Belt and Brandon Hicks before Blanco doubled Morse to third base to snap a 19 at-bat hitless streak. Hudson then hit a drive to deep left-center that Craig Gentry ran down on the warning track for an inning-ending catch.
“We have to find a way to plate some runs,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It just looks like we’re caught in between as an offensive group. We’re a little late with the fastball, out in front on the off-speed pitches.”
The A’s broke the game open in the sixth when they put together the four straight extra-base hits, including a two-run homer by Donaldson over the wall in right field. Donaldson’s 20th homer came the same day he was picked to participate in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star game next week.
Vogt added a two-run single off Javier Lopez to give the A’s a 6-0 lead. Vogt drove in a run when he singled in the fifth following John Jaso’s two-out triple to make it 2-0.
Hudson allowed six runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings and lost for the second time in his career to the A’s. Hudson spent the first six years of his career in Oakland and has beaten every team in the majors except the A’s and Atlanta.
The Giants finally got on the board in the eighth when Pablo Sandoval hit an RBI single off Dan Otero.
NOTE: Home plate umpire Adrian Johnson left the game before the top of the fourth after being hit in the mask by a foul ball in the first inning. Crew chief Angel Hernandez moved from second base to behind the plate and the game finished with three umpires.