Athletics

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

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

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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.

A's give up four home runs, drop series opener to Orioles

A's give up four home runs, drop series opener to Orioles

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BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones called it a game the Baltimore Orioles needed to win.

The center fielder set the early tone, and the rest of the team followed his lead.

Jones hit a pair of home runs, Jonathan Schoop added a three-run shot and Baltimore beat the Oakland Athletics 7-3 on Monday night. The Orioles won for the second time in six games, but they are still in the thick of the wild-card race.

"Adam's done that a lot and it never goes unnoticed or unappreciated or assumed, more importantly," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Jon obviously had a big blow there, but can't tell you how hard it is, as hard as Adam plays as long as he plays, and then mid-to-late August you're still able to do that. That's one of the things that separates Adam."

Wade Miley (7-10) held the A's to two runs, five hits and four walks over six-plus innings to pick up his first win at Camden Yards since June 17. The left-hander is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA against Oakland this season.

Jones tied a career high with four hits and is one home run shy of reaching 25 for the seventh consecutive season. Zach Britton got the final out with two runners on for his 11th save this season and his 60th in a row.

Baltimore beat Chris Smith (0-3) for the second time in 12 days. Smith allowed five runs and six hits over 4 1/3 innings - his shortest start of the season. He was pulled after allowing Schoop's three-run homer, which made it 5-1. Ryan Dull entered and allowed another homer by Jones.

"I always feel strong at this time of the season," Jones said. "It's called pacing myself. I've learned how to pace myself over the years."

Jed Lowrie homered for the A's, and Boog Powell hit his first career home run in the eighth inning, appropriately enough doing so in Baltimore, where an unrelated Boog Powell slugged 303 home runs and won the 1970 MVP.

"It didn't seem real," said Powell, who made his major league debut earlier this season with Seattle and was acquired in a trade earlier this month for Yonder Alonso.

The younger Powell is expected to meet his namesake for the first time Tuesday, according to MLB.com.

Welington Castillo responded for Baltimore with a solo home run in the eighth off Michael Brady that provided the 7-3 lead.

Oakland took a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI double by Matt ChapmanChad Pinder was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on the play.

The Orioles tied it in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Mark Trumbo. Jones led off the fourth with a homer and Baltimore never trailed again.

"He's a good hitter for a reason. It's tough," Smith said about Jones. "You try to attack his zones, and it seems like I make a good pitch and he breaks his bat but he finds somehow to put it in the outfield."

MACHADO HONORED:
Manny Machado became the third Oriole to earn AL Player of the Week honors this season, joining Schoop (July 23) and Tim Beckham (Aug. 7). Machado batted .385 (10 for 26) with four home runs and 12 RBIs over six games.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Athletics: C Bruce Maxwell, who took a foul ball off his face mask Saturday at Houston, did not start for the second consecutive game. He entered as a pinch hitter in the seventh and went 0 for 2. . SS Marcus Semien left in the seventh with a wrist injury.

Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy (wrist) went 0 for 3 with a walk on Monday in his first rehabilitation game with Triple-A Norfolk.

UP NEXT:
Athletics: RHP Paul Blackburn (3-1, 3.46 ERA) received a no-decision after allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings in his lone appearance against Baltimore on Aug. 11.

Orioles: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (5-8, 6.47 ERA) struggled in his previous outing against Seattle, when he was charged with six runs and eight hits over 4 1/3 innings. He is 4-1 with a 4.70 ERA in eight career starts against Oakland.

A's Cotton notches first big league victory in two months: 'He found out if...'

A's Cotton notches first big league victory in two months: 'He found out if...'

HOUSTON — No one questions the quality of stuff that Jharel Cotton takes to the mound.

According to A’s manager Bob Melvin, the key for his rookie starter is more an issue of mindset and aggressiveness.

Cotton was in attack mode Sunday after a wobbly first inning against the Houston Astros. The result was an encouraging six-inning outing that set the A’s on the path to a 3-2 victory that helped them avoid a three-game sweep at Minute Maid Park.

While the victory was important for his team’s overall psyche, Melvin also hopes it triggers some confidence for Cotton in how he can attack a dangerous lineup and have success.

“I think he found out if he throws the ball over the plate, it’s gonna allow him to stay in the game longer,” Melvin said. “He should take a lot out of this game, especially against a lineup like that. Knowing that if I’m throwing the ball over the plate, using a mix of pitches and I’m not afraid to use my fastball, that the results can be good. We’ve seen him pitch really good games because he’s got good stuff.”

Cotton (6-10) rang up his first major league victory since June 23 against the White Sox. That was before a blister on his thumb led to a stint on the disabled list. Since then, he’d struggled with walks, ill-timed homers, and generally enough turbulence to invite speculation on whether the A’s might skip him for a start or send him down.

He answered Sunday by holding the majors’ highest-scoring team to two runs on four hits over his six innings. That was after walking two in a 25-pitch first. Not since that scoreless outing against the White Sox back in June had Cotton surrendered less than four runs in a game.

A’s closer Blake Treinen, who recorded a six-out save and combined with fellow reliever Chris Hatcher to bring home the ‘W’ for Cotton, said watching Cotton tame the Astros lineup didn’t surprise him.

“I’d heard of him from before I was even (traded to the A’s), and I’ve seen his stuff. Sometimes as a young pitcher it just takes experience. When things are going really well, you don’t have to think.You just trust it.”

The A’s beat the Astros for just the third time in 15 games this season. On so many occasions, Houston has taken advantage of Oakland mistakes and forced the issue with aggressive baserunning. On Sunday, it was the A’s who dictated things in that fashion.

Center fielder Boog Powell, who went 3-for-4 with a walk from the leadoff spot, led the game off with a single against Brad Peacock (10-2). Then Marcus Semien grounded one toward the hole on the left side. With Powell racing hard into second, Astros shortstop Alex Bregman threw wildly into right field. Powell came around to score, and Semien — advancing all the way to third — came home on the play when Marwin Gonzalez made another throwing error.

Jed Lowrie scored on a passed ball in the sixth to push the A’s lead to 3-1, marking the first time in Oakland history the A’s scored three or more runs in a game without notching a single RBI.

Semien’s mad dash around the bases reminded him of a similar play as a Little Leaguer in El Cerrito, when he circled the bases in the same kind of way on his mother’s birthday. Afterward, she convinced him he’d hit a real homer.

“I got some texts from some old Little League friends about that one today,” Semien said.

It wasn’t conventional, and it didn’t matter. Over the first two games of this series, the A’s had scored one run total and advanced just one runner as far as third base.