A's extend C.J. Wilson's winless streak

A's extend C.J. Wilson's winless streak
August 8, 2012, 6:57 am
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OAKLAND -- Infamous for his critical comments of the Oakland Coliseum mound and fans, C.J. Wilson was given plenty to be bitter about on Tuesday. As scattered "C.J. sucks" chants broke out across the Coliseum crowd, the Angels pitcher probably had a hard time hearing them over the loud sound of the bat making contact with his pitches. Wilson allowed nine hits and walked five batters. He allowed six runs -- three earned -- he hasn't won a game in his last eight starts as the A's defeated the Angels 10-4. After suffering through their MLB-worst 13th shutout of the season the A's got on board early with a first inning Jonny Gomes solo homer to left field. Gomes' 12th home run sent reverberations through the A's lineup.
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"We've had a propensity to hit home runs this year and C.J. Wilson doesn't give up too many," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "To get an early lead with a home run like that kind of gave us a little bit of swagger back and some momentum."Gomes said the negative comments that Wilson made in 2011 about Oakland didn't serve as a motivating factor in any way for the A's. "I don't even know what he said," Gomes admitted. "From my end I don't get hung up on that stuff. Just kind of a bozo comment by him, no one is bigger than the game. There's 30 organizations. I don't know why you've got to bag on any of them."The A's loaded the bases against Wilson in the first, third, and fourth innings. Derek Norris came to the plate all three times the bases were loaded. He didn't record a hit with the bases loaded, but two runs scored when Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo badly misplayed a ground ball that Norris hit in the third inning. The miscue gave the A's an early 3-0 lead and opened the flood gates. Later that inning Jemile Weeks' American League-leading eighth triple made it a 5-0 game. That was more than A's starting pitcher Bartolo Colon would need. He tormented the Angels hitters over seven innings of one run ball. The only run he allowed was unearned and it snapped a career-high 22 and one-third scoreless inning streak for the veteran pitcher. "With his command it is going to be tough to string hits together against him," Melvin said. "Billy Beane did a good job targeting a veteran presence like him. His attitude has rubbed off on a lot of our young pitchers." Colon got his ninth win of the season and his 10th career victory of the Halos -- the team he won the 2005 Cy Young award with. He threw 23 first pitch strikes and faced 27 hitters. He kept the Angels off balance all night, throwing predominantly two-seam and four-seam fastballs. "The guy is a dinosaur he has been doing it forever," Gomes said. "He knows what he's doing, he knows these hitters, he knows his stuff better than anyone. You think he almost throws too many strikes." The A's ended up clubbing a season-high tying four home runs. Norris and Adam Rosales connected for back-to-back blasts in the sixth inning, and Josh Reddick pulled a homer to right field in the seventh inning. Reddick's 25th home run ball wasn't the only thing he sent into the right field bleachers on Tuesday. He also sent them four large trays of bacon before the game in honor of a relatively new Oakland tradition called Bacon Tuesday. "I was just doing a little something different today," Reddick said of his greasy gesture. "I figured I'd give them a little something back. They've been really supportive of me all year."The A's were clearly in a giving mood on Tuesday, but it was a home run ball that Coco Crisp took away that had the clubhouse buzzing after the game. In the ninth inning the veteran center field tracked a deep fly ball hit by Angels slugger Kendrys Morales all the way to the deepest part of the park before perfectly timing his leap and snaring the ball in the webbing of his glove."We have the ability to play good defense," Melvin said. "All of those things go a long way in having a feeling of a good team effort all the way around."The A's also felt good about getting Yoenis Cespedes back in the lineup. He legged out two infield singles and stole third base in the third inning -- a moment that might have given some of his teammates pause since he sprained his right wrist on Friday trying to swipe third. "You do the best you can to get him out there on the field healthy and have faith in the fact that he is going to remain healthy," Melvin said. "I actually didn't think about that until after the play." Cespedes was forced to miss Monday's game against the Angels because his wrist was bothering him. He was the designated hitter on Tuesday but turned heads -- including his managers -- during batting practice when he started getting some work in at shortstop. "It made me feel good that he was feeling good enough to do that," Melvin said. "You hope nothing happens because we didn't want him to play the outfield, but he certainly felt good enough to make some off-balance throws from shortstop today."The A's will conclude their 10-game homestand on Wednesday in a day game. After snapping their three-game losing streak they will have a chance to take the series against the division rival Angels before heading on the road for six games. The A's are half a game behind the Tigers for the first American League Wild Card spot and are tied with the Orioles for the second spot. They are in second place in the American League West, just a half game ahead of the Angels.

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