Daniel Hudson will look for more of the same of what guided him to his second victory of the season last Saturday in San Diego. Hudson allowed two earned runs on five hits over a season-high eight innings, with five strikeouts.
"He looked good," D-backs catcher Miguel Montero said of Hudson following his previous start. "He was Huddy. He kept the ball down and made good quality pitches when he needed it, and he got quick outs."
"Huddy of old," is how D-backs manager Kirk Gibson also characterized the outing.
Hudson has rebounded well from his poorest outing of the season, when he surrendered six earned runs on 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings on April 13. Though the early part of his season was disrupted by a shoulder impingement, Hudson has allowed just six earned runs over his past 20 2/3 innings, with just one home run.
Tommy Milone also has pitched at a high level over his past three starts but has just one win during that stretch. Milone comes off back-to-back starts in which he gave up two earned runs on eight hits, lasting 6 2/3 innings and seven innings, respectively. Those outings were preceded by one of his best showings of the season, a seven-inning, one-run effort. A's manager Bob Melvin stated that his team needs to score more runs in support of Milone.
"Milone pitched the way he's been pitching all year," Melvin said of the left-hander's Sunday start. "He got out of some jams a couple times, but you give up two runs, you should keep your team in the game and give them a chance to win. You expect to score at least two runs in a ballgame. I think he pitched according to form the way he has all year."
Melvin, who managed in the National League for five years while he was with the Diamondbacks, also played with the Giants for three years. He has extensive experience playing and coaching in both the American League and NL. When asked if he thought it was more difficult for an AL team to play in a NL park or vice versa, Melvin said it was tougher for an AL team to go on the road in Interleague Play.
"You're not used to it, where, for a National League manager, it's just kind of a break," Melvin said. "You just don't have to think about some of the things that you do [normally], as far as lineups and pinch-hitting and stuff like that."
Athletics: Doolittle makes strong first impression
Left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle, a converted first baseman who started the season in Class A, made his big league debut Tuesday night against Texas and struck out the first three batters he faced. He allowed zero hits or runs runs over 1 1/3 innings and threw nothing but fastballs, which clocked as high as 96 mph.
"It looked like he'd been here for a while, and ... he wasn't afraid to challenge right-handed hitters, and really good right-handed hitters, with his fastball," Melvin said. "I was very surprised at not only the results he got but also the way he looked out on the mound. There was probably a little more going on inside from a guy who started out in Class A this year to a guy that's now pitching against the Texas Rangers in the middle of the order. It was a phenomenal story leading into his appearance and even more so after."
Yoenis Cespedes is day to day after suffering a strained hamstring in Thursday's 7-1 win over the Rangers. He missed more than three weeks with a hand injury before being activated from the disabled list on Friday. Since then, Cespedes, who singled in his only at-bat Thursday, has batted .400 with a home run, five RBIs and five runs.
D-backs: Goldschmidt in a groove
Paul Goldschmidt extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games on Wednesday with a 3-for-4 night in which he homered and drove in three runs. Goldschmidt is hitting .431 (22-for-51) with five home runs, eight RBIs and 11 runs scored during the streak.
Goldschmidt had hit just two home runs through his first 34 games of the season. He has raised his average from .219 to .288 since May 17. He is also in the top six in the NL in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage since that date.
The A's are 21-5 when scoring at least four runs in a game.
Despite Wednesday's victory, the D-backs are just 8-16 in their past 24 home games.
Melvin will return to Chase Field for the first time since he held the same position with the Diamondbacks from 2005-09.
Coco Crisp hit a bases-clearing triple in the A's 7-1 win over the Rangers on Thursday, his first of the season. He also stole his 31st straight base without being caught, a team record.