Colon gets 14th victory
07/27/2013 12:00 AM
07/29/2013 6:48 AM
OAKLAND – The A's are holding a "Turn Back the Clock" day at today's game against the Los Angeles Angels, complete with throwback uniforms and music from the 1960s. It comes hours after Bartolo Colon – who wasn't alive then but cut it pretty close – continued his own personal turn-back-the-clock season Friday night, beating his former team for the second time in five days in the A's 6-4 win at O.co Coliseum.
Colon, the 40-year-old right-hander, won his 14th game to tie Detroit's Max Scherzer and Tampa Bay's Matt Moore for the most wins by a pitcher in the majors. He departed after six innings with a 4-2 lead, making it the 14th consecutive start in which Colon has lasted six or more innings and allowed three or fewer runs. That ties him with Dan Haren, who did it in 2007, for the longest such streak by an A's pitcher since at least 1916.
To do so, he needed to wiggle out of a two-on, one-out jam in the sixth.
With his starter at 93 pitches, pitching coach Curt Young came out for a brief talk with Colon, who then retired Erick Aybar and Hank Conger on the next three pitches and clapped as he left the mound.
Catcher Stephen Vogt padded the lead with a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning – Vogt's second in the majors and first since his first career hit June 28 – which proved critical when reliever Jerry Blevins walked the first two hitters he faced in the ninth and both came around to score on Albert Pujols' two-out double.
A's manager Bob Melvin quickly pulled Blevins, who has now allowed the first batter to reach in eight of his last nine appearances, in favor of closer Grant Balfour, who gave up Pujols' double but struck out Josh Hamilton swinging at a full-count fastball to notch his 27th save.
It also sealed the win for Colon, who is 11-1 with a 1.70 ERA in his last 14 starts. Both runs he allowed Friday came on a soaring first-inning home run by Angels center fielder Mike Trout. Trout, who stole 49 bases as a rookie last year, also beat out an infield single two innings later by winning a foot race to the bag with Colon. It was the rare occasion this season on which Colon has looked overmatched.
The A's improved to 17-4 in Colon's starts this season – including 9-1 when he takes the mound following an Oakland loss – and have yet to lose a game in which they've given him a lead. He had a 4-2 advantage in the second inning Friday.
Jed Lowrie, hitting .178 with three RBIs in the month of July entering the game, drove in three in the first two innings with a solo homer in the first and a two-run single in the second, two batters after Eric Sogard had tied the game with an RBI single.
With two outs and Josh Reddick on third, Sogard had a bunt single attempt roll foul, then lined a single to center on the next pitch for his seventh hit in 17 at-bats out of the break. Before the game, manager Bob Melvin said that Sogard – the platooning second baseman who played in his 82nd game Friday after totaling 68 in Oakland the previous three years – is "swinging the bat as well as anybody we have right now."
Sogard also made two stellar defensive plays in the eighth – a diving catch on an Alberto Callaspo line drive and a bare-handed pickup of a ball that had deflected off reliever Sean Doolittle – and put the finishing touch on Coco Crisp's first outfield assist since last Sept. 12 in the third. After Trout beat out his infield single, he tried to tag up on Pujols' medium-deep fly ball to center and was thrown out by Crisp.
Note – Melvin said there has been no change in the condition of catcher John Jaso, who went on the seven-day concussion disabled list Thursday. Meanwhile, left-hander Brett Anderson is still on track to throw a bullpen session today as he continues his return from a right foot stress fracture.
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