SAN FRANCISCO -- If any area of Bruce Bochy’s club could be described as reliable over these past few weeks, it’s the rotation. Lord knows it isn’t their soft-toothed bench.
Maybe that’s why Bochy let Tim Hudson bat for himself with two on, two out and the Giants trailing 2-0 in the fifth inning Thursday afternoon.
And now you know the sound a funny car makes when it backfires.
Sure, Hudson put a charge into the third out, which was caught on the track in center field. Unfortunately for Bochy and the Giants, the hardest and loudest contact came in the top of the sixth. The A’s tallied four consecutive extra-base hits off Hudson and romped to a 6-1 victory to take three of four in the Bay Bridge series.
It was the second consecutive year the Giants lost both games in Oakland and split at AT&T Park. They trail the all-time series 47-53.
Starting pitching report
Hudson, who spent the first six seasons of his career with the A’s, was making his second career start against them. He got knocked out after five innings and five runs in May, 2008 while pitching for the Atlanta Braves.
He fared better this time -- through five innings, at least. Alberto Callaspo hit a sacrifice fly in the second inning and the A’s added another run in the fifth when John Jaso tripled and scored on Stephen Vogt’s single.
Then Bochy trusted Hudson to hit for himself in the fifth, and the regrets were immediate in the sixth. Brandon Moss doubled, Josh Donaldson showed just how strong he is while hitting an opposite-field shot over the right field arcade, then Jed Lowrie and Callaspo doubled. Lowrie had to hold at third base on the play and Hudson issued an intentional walk to Craig Gentry to load the bases. He struck out pitcher Scott Kazmir, then handed the mess to Javier Lopez.
The five extra-base hits were one short of matching Hudson’s career and season high. He gave up six extra-base hits to the Chicago White Sox on June 18.
Lopez got the second out but gave up a two-run single to Vogt. He has allowed eight of 22 inherited runners to score this season.
At the plate
The Giants didn’t get a hit until Michael Morse led off the fifth inning with a single. Gregor Blanco hit a two-out double to set up Bochy’s decision with Hudson.
Scott Kazmir was unscored upon in seven innings while striking out nine. In their three victories, A’s starters Jesse Chavez, Sonny Gray and Kazmir combined to allow one run on 13 hits in 20 innings while striking out 26 and walking four.
The Giants avoided getting shut out for the second time in the series, and the fifth time in 11 games, when Ehire Adrianza, Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval strung together singles in the eighth.
Sandoval made a diving stop at third base to take away a hit and the Giants played error-free. But they couldn’t outhit Hudson’s mistakes.
The Giants announced 41,069 paid. Time to stash that A’s/Giants hybrid hat until next season.
The Giants begin a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday at AT&T Park. Tim Lincecum (8-5, 3.91 ERA) takes the mound against Diamondbacks right-hander Mike Bolsinger (1-5, 5.13). First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. PDT. It’ll be Ryan Vogelsong (5-6, 3.92) vs. left-hander Wade Miley (4-6. 4.43) on Saturday and Madison Bumgarner (9-7, 3.36) vs. right-hander Chase Anderson (6-4, 3.64) on Sunday.