OAKLAND, California (Ticker) --
recorded his seventh straight win, striking out seven in eight innings, as the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
, 5-2, for their seventh consecutive victory.
Oakland also has won six in a row at home but was unable to pad to its two-game lead in the American League Western Division because second-place Seattle rallied to defeat Baltimore.
"I tried to tell y'all, man, that bad luck was gonna start turning to good sometime," Hudson said. "Hopefully, now, that's the case. I think overall right now, we're just playing better baseball in this time when we need it most."
Hudson (14-4) fell behind early, allowing a leadoff triple to
in the first inning and a sacrifice fly to
. But the Athletics gave him the lead in the bottom of the inning when
"He deserves it," Huff said of Hudson's chances for Cy Young Award consideration. "He hasn't gotten a lot of hype as the other starters have, but look at those numbers and they're right up there with everybody else."
Hudson was 5-0 with a 1.62 ERA in six starts this month and has won 11 straight decisions in August.
Chavez singled in another run in the third inning, giving him his first three-RBI game since he knocked in five runs against Detroit on August 6.
In addition to snapping out of a 2-for-11 slump, Chavez got his first career hits off
(3-11), who stifled him in 11 previous at-bats.
"Usually, he keeps sliders in on my hands," Chavez said. "He left those two flat out there."
Hudson allowed two runs, six hits and a walk, improving to 5-0 with a 2.30 ERA in eight career appearances against Tampa Bay.
worked around a hit in the ninth inning for his 36th save.
"We want to give Foulke a day off," Athletics manager
said. "But the guy has been amazing, absolutely amazing."
Ellis had an RBI double in the fourth to put the A's ahead, 4-1, against Kennedy, who surrendered five runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. The lefthander is winless in eight decisions since May 13.
Kennedy has a 7.51 ERA in his last 13 starts but might not make another for some time.
"We're going to put Kennedy in the bullpen and see if we can get some good use out of him there,"
Kennedy was far from thrilled about the demotion, although he admitted he is struggling with his velocity.
"It's not like I pitched bad," he said. "I just haven't gotten any results. Tonight I look back, I gave up seven hits. The only bad thing I did was walk five. I think I'm pitching fine. I'm just not getting any results, not having any luck."
issued a bases-loaded walk to
in the fifth but settled down and pitched 3 1/3 perfect innings thereafter.
"We're able to rest our bullpen," Piniella said. "He gave us three-plus innings of good work."
, however, were able to score just one more run, climbing within 5-2 in the sixth on an RBI single by Huff.