4 fmr. Auburn Tigers help teams to MLB Playoff spots

AUBURN, Ala. – A quartet of former Auburn baseball have helped their respective clubs earn spots in the 2012 Major League Baseball Playoffs. Justin Christian, Josh Donaldson, Tim Hudson and David Ross have all been contributors on either division-winning or wild card-winning teams.

Christian, who lettered at Auburn in 2001, is a reserve outfielder for the National League West champion San Francisco Giants. In his second season in San Francisco, he has appeared in 34 games, hitting .125 with a double and two RBI. Christian has never appeared in a post-season game.

Donaldson, who was a supplemental first round pick out of Auburn in 2007,  is the everyday third baseman for the American League West champion Oakland A's. On the season he has appeared in 75 games, hitting .241, but has really been on a tear since being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on August 14 for his third stint in the big leagues this year. In 47 games since the recall, he is batting .290 with 27 runs, 13 doubles, eight home runs and 26 RBI. This will mark Donaldson's first career post-season appearance.

Hudson, a sixth-round pick in 1997 after being named the national collegiate player of the year, is the all-time leading wins winner by former SEC pitchers in MLB history with a 197-104 career record over 14 seasons. This year he has gone 16-7 with a 3.62 ERA for the National League Wild Card-winning Atlanta Braves, logging 179 innings. Hudson has appeared in the postseason six times and is 1-3 with a 3.46 ERA for the Oakland A's (2000-03) and Braves (2005, 2010).

Ross was Hudson's battery mate at Auburn from 1996-97 and is also catching him in Atlanta. The number two catcher for the Braves he has appeared in 62 games this season, hitting .256 with seven doubles, nine home runs and 23 RBI. Ross has appeared in the playoffs three other times (Los Angeles Dodgers – 2004, Boston Red Sox – 2008 and Braves – 2010).

The MLB playoffs begin on Friday with the two wild card matchups. Atlanta will host the St. Louis Cardinals at 4pm CT. Oakland will play Detroit in the an AL Division Series which begins Saturday while San Francisco will play Cincinnati in the NLDS, also starting Saturday.

Auburn's four active players on MLB Playoff teams is the highest among SEC teams.