Instant Replay: A's take series behind seven-run third

Instant Replay: A's take series behind seven-run third
September 8, 2013, 3:00 pm
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Seth Smith hit a three-run HR in the bottom of the third inning to give the A's a 7-1 lead. (AP)

Bartolo Colon gave up one run with seven strikeouts, one walk, and five hits over six innings. (AP)

OAKLAND – The A’s will be sad to wave goodbye to O.co Coliseum given the good times they’ve enjoyed for the past 10 days.

They went 8-2 over a three-team, 10-game stay at their home park, capped by Sunday’s 7-2 victory over the Houston Astros.

They swept the Tampa Bay Rays, took two of three from division rival Texas and won three of four against the lowly Astros. In the process, the A’s climbed atop the American League West standings.

They hit the road for a six-game swing through Minnesota and Texas leading the division by 2 games over the Rangers pending their Sunday result.

The Astros were in trouble before Sunday’s game even started when they had to scratch starting pitcher Paul Clemens due to a blister on his pitching hand. Swing man Lucas Harrell (6-16) stepped in, and he was left in long enough to absorb all the punishment while Oakland batted around during a seven-run third inning.

Bartolo Colon (15-6) turned in his best effort since coming off the disabled list, going six innings and allowing just one run.

The A’s hadn’t won eight games on a single homestand since August of 2006.

Starting pitching report

Colon, in his third start back from a groin injury, struck out seven and walked one. He gave up a run in the first on Jose Altuve’s RBI double to left-center but then settled in and showed the form that made him an All-Star this season.

That was particularly evident on his final two batters of the afternoon. With a runner on third in the sixth, Colon struck out Matt Dominguez and Marc Krauss looking. The strike-three pitch to Krauss was vintage Colon,a two-seam fastball that came back to catch the inside corner against the left-handed hitter.

Colon became the first pitcher ever to win 15  games for four different American League teams. He’s done so with the Indians, Angels, White Sox and now the A’s.

Bullpen report

For the third time in four relief outings, Brett Anderson was called upon to handle the final three innings of a lopsided game. He gave up three hits , two walks and one run but managed to notch his third save. There aren’t many relievers that notch three three-inning saves in their careers these days, much less do it in a two-week span as Anderson has done.

At the plate

The A’s racked up seven runs on six hits against Harrell in the third. The crowning blow was Seth Smith’s three-run homer. But Brandon Moss had a two-run double to put the A’s ahead for good, and Yoenis Cespedes had one of his two singles on the day to drive in a run.

In the field

Shortstop Jed Lowrie committed his 17th error, but that was a footnote in  a game that didn’t have much suspense in it.

Attendance

A crowd of 18,824 ignored NFL football for a few hours and took in the finale of this 10-game homestand
 
Up next

The A’s open a six-game road trip Tuesday in Minnesota, where Jarrod Parker (11-6, 3.57) will try to extend his nine-game winning streak. That’s tied for the second-longest in the majors this season. He’ll be opposed by Liam Hendriks (1-2, 5.28) in the 5:10 p.m. series opener.

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