MINNEAPOLIS -- Tim Hudson put a bright ending on a trying first month for the Oakland Athletics.
Hudson struck out 10 in 7 2-3 innings for his second straight strong start as Oakland beat the Minnesota Twins 8-2 on Sunday.
''(Hudson) was sharp today. That's an understatement,'' Athletics manager Art Howe said. ''He's locked in now. He's throwing the ball extremely well.''
Even though first baseman John Jaha, second baseman Randy Velarde and starter Kevin Appier are on the disabled list, the A's finished the month two games behind Seattle in the AL West.
''I'm very pleased with the state of the team,'' Howe said. ''We have something to build on.''
Hudson (3-2), whose ERA ballooned to 6.26 this month after he went 11-2 with a 3.27 ERA in his rookie season last year, confounded Twins hitters with a wicked forkball and an effective changeup.
He said he didn't lose confidence after giving up 11 runs in four innings over two starts earlier this month, but he did spend time with pitching coach Rick Peterson working on altering his mechanics.
''I've always had a good work ethic and that's never been a question,'' Hudson said. ''With mechanics, every now and then you get a little flaw here and there, so you make the necessary adjustments.''
Staked to a three-run lead before he took the mound, Hudson faced just three batters over the minimum through six innings.
''We got off to a bad start and never recovered,'' Twins manager Tom Kelly said. ''Hudson was too good for us, He pretty much took control of the ballgame.''
Every Oakland starter except Frank Menechino had at least one hit as the A's pounded out 14 hits, including four by Ben Grieve.
Hudson lost his shutout in the eighth when Denny Hocking stole home on the back-end of a double steal. Cristian Guzman appeared to interfere with catcher Ramon Hernandez's throw to second.
Grieve, whose 10th inning grand slam won Saturday's game for Oakland, had three singles and a double before being replaced by a pinch runner in the seventh. He has 10 RBIs in his last five games and is hitting .371 in his career against the Twins.
Rookie Adam Piatt hit his first major league home run and also hit two towering triples. Piatt is 8-for-19 since being called up from Triple-A Sacramento on Monday.
''Adam, you can tell he has a great idea up there hitting, knowing what he wants to do,'' Oakland's Matt Stairs said.
Howe wouldn't assess Piatt's chances of staying with the big club when Jaha gets healthy.
''He's swinging the bat real well,'' Howe said. ''We're not going to start making predictions. Let him enjoy what he's doing.''
Twins starter Sean Bergman (2-1) was shaky from the beginning and after his first six pitches, Oakland led 3-0.
Terrence Long led off the game with a single to center, then Miguel Tejada hit a 395-foot homer to left center. Jason Giambi hit the next pitch 360 feet into the left field bleachers to give Oakland a 3-0 lead.
Bergman was done after the third, when he yielded two more runs on a pair of walks and two hits -- including a triple by Piatt that Torii Hunter badly misjudged and allowed to hit the center field wall.
''It was just a terrible game for me,'' Bergman said. ''It's tough when after three batters, you're down 3-0.''
Matt Lawton extended his career-high 16-game hitting with an RBI double in the eighth. Lawton's streak is the longest in the majors this season.
It was Oakland's first sweep of the Twins since Sept. 9-13, 1998.
Notes: The Athletics are 3-0 so far on their 12-game road trip. They are 7-3 on the road this season and 5-10 at home.
... Hunter is the only Minnesota regular not on the American League All-Star ballot. ... Hocking started for the Twins at second base for the first time this season. He had previously started at shortstop, third base and left field.
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