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Hudson, Mulder going to Houston
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07/04/2004  7:00 PM ET
Hudson, Mulder going to Houston
A's co-aces named to AL All-Star team
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Mark Mulder pitched two innings in last year's All-Star Game. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson already spend a lot of time together. They're the co-anchors of Oakland's outstanding starting staff, and as two-thirds of "The Big Three" around which the club is built and marketed, they're often required to appear together in the same commercials and national interviews.

It's a good thing they're friends, because they won't get a break from each other any time soon. Both were named Sunday to the American League team for Major League Baseball's 75th annual All-Star Game, set for July 13 in Houston.

"Absolutely, those guys deserve it," said teammate Eric Byrnes after the A's 9-6 victory over the Giants on Sunday afternoon.

The announcement capped a nice little weekend for Mulder, who was named the AL Pitcher of the Month for June on Saturday.

"Well, it's an honor, man," said Mulder. "It's nice to see Huddy going."

2004 All-Star Game

A 6-foot-6 southpaw with flawless mechanics, Mulder, 26, is among the league leaders in wins, ERA and complete games and took an eight-game winning streak into his Sunday start in San Francisco. His final start of the first half comes Friday in Cleveland, so he'll be fresh for Houston and is on the short list of candidates to start for the AL.

He also was a top candidate to start last year's game, which was held in his hometown of Chicago, but the honor instead went to White Sox ace Esteban Loaiza. Mulder threw two innings in relief of Loaiza and gave up a run on five hits in his All-Star debut.

"Obviously it'd be awesome to start the game, but just to go is cool enough," said Mulder.

While Mulder's selection to the team was a lock, Hudson's was not. In addition to being placed on the 15-day disabled list last week with a strained oblique muscle, he's seen his win-loss record sabotaged by an Oakland bullpen that blew 14 of its first 27 save opportunities.

But the voters -- Major League players, coaches and managers -- appear to have done their homework in realizing that Hudson, who will turn 29 the day after the All-Star Game, belongs in Houston. He was 7-3 with a 2.98 ERA when he went on the DL -- he's expected to come off Saturday and pitch that day in Cleveland -- but saw four wins wiped out by relief failures. He left four of his five no-decisions with a lead, and in the other he left after nine innings with the game tied.

"To be honest with you, I had no idea," said Hudson of his chances to make the squad.

An intensely competitive right-hander with an arsenal of nine pitches, Hudson also will be making his second All-Star appearance in Houston. His first came in 2000, when he threw a perfect inning in relief for the AL at Atlanta's Turner Field.

"I was excited to be a part of it," said Hudson about his All-Star debut. "You're wide-eyed, kind of take everything in."

This is the second consecutive year that two of the A's starting pitchers are on the AL All-Star team; last year it was Mulder and fellow lefty Barry Zito. No other A's were named to the 2004 team, though many in the Oakland clubhouse were hoping first baseman Scott Hatteberg's strong first half would land him a spot as a reserve.

Mychael Urban is a national writer for Mark Thoma contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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