Colon out-duels Felix, A's win Seattle's home opener

Colon out-duels Felix, A's win Seattle's home opener
April 14, 2012, 5:12 am
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The A's aren't afraid of Felix Hernandez.Oakland notched two runs off the 2010 Cy Young award winner, upping their season total off Hernandez to nine, and Bartolo Colon made it stick, lasting seven shutout innings to give the A's a series-opening win in Seattle. After Seattle beat the A's in Oakland's home opener on April 6, Oakland returned the favor Friday, sending the packed Safeco Field with a loss on their opening night.The A's got back to .500, improved to 4-4, and 4-0 all-time against the Mariners on Friday the 13th.
It's Bartolo's Safeco: Bartolo Colon was masterful Friday night, at one point retiring 10 consecutive Mariners, en route to his 10th career win at Safeco Field. It was just his 12th start in Seattle. With the win, Colon broke free from the confines of a tie with John Lackey for the most career wins at Safeco Field by an opposing pitcher.Colon has three starts this season, all against the Mariners. In two of them, including Friday night, he allowed just three hits in seven-plus innings of work.On friday, singles from Dustin Ackley, Ichiro Suzuki and Jesus Montero, and a walk to Juistin Smoak were the only blemishes.After the win, Colon is 2-0 with a 3.72 ERA. He's earning that one-year 2 million contract.Rallytime: The important runs in the game came in the third inning. Daric Barton, batting seventh, got it started with a broken-bat single to right field. After advancing to second on Josh Donaldon's ground out, Barton trotted home when Cliff Pennington got a hold of a 91-mph fastball and sent it off the center-field wall. After Jemile Weeks grounded out, Coco Crisp lashed a two-out single to left field that Chone Figgins could not field cleanly. Third-base coach Mike Gallego and Pennington took advantage, and the A's took a 2-0 lead over Hernandez and the Mariners.The only other run in the game came in the eighth inning when Josh Reddick spurred the insurance rally. The Mariners called upon left-handed specialist Lucas Luetge -- who sent Reddick back to the dugout on three pitches April 7 on a steady dose of sliders -- to face Reddick. This time, though, Reddick slapped the second slider he saw to right field, picked up a critical 90 feet on a passed ball, and scored on Kurt Suzuki's sacrifice fly.Three runs were plenty, but Jemile Weeks wanted more. Hitting from the right side against left-hander Charlie Furbush, Weeks hit the A's eighth home run of the season in their eighth game, making it 4-0.King Felix III: The A's aren't scared of royalty. They've faced Felix Hernandez in each of his first three starts, and they've driven his ERA to 3.80, 0.55 points higher than his career mark of 3.25. Hernandez threw seven innings Friday, ceding seven hits and two earned runs. He took the loss, falling to 1-1.Pressing: Yoenis Cespedes jumped out to a memorable start with Oakland, hitting extra-base hits in each of his first four games. In his next three games against the Royals, Cespedes finished the series 2-for-9 with one extra-base hit, a double.Friday against the Mariners, Cespedes was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.Cook calmed: Ryan Cook made his fourth appearance of the season Friday, taking over for Bartolo Colon in the bottom of the eighth inning. He walked the first two batters he faced, energizing the Seattle crowd. A mound visit was all he needed. Cook induced a comebacker from Figgins and led Pennington into second base perfectly. Pennington stepped on second and fired to first to complete the 1-6-3 double play.Cook got Ackley to ground out next to end the Mariners' only threat since their last hit in the fourth inning.