Bartolo Colon shuts down powerful Rangers
AP Baseball Writer
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Yoenis Cespedes finished a home run shy of hitting for the cycle, drove in a run and scored and Bartolo Colon pitched eight scoreless innings, leading the Oakland Athletics past the Texas Rangers 2-0 on Wednesday night.
Brandon Inge hit an RBI single in the second and Colon won for the second time in his last nine outings to improve to 18-6 in 28 starts against Texas – his most wins against any opponent
The right-hander (5-6) was backed by just enough run support in this outing after the A’s were blanked his last time out at Kansas City on Friday – the third time Oakland hasn’t scored a run in one of his outings.
Cespedes doubled and scored in the second, hit an RBI single in the fourth and tripled in the sixth during Oakland’s sixth shutout of the year. The Cuban slugger and cleanup hitter is batting .375 (9 for 24) with a home run and five RBIs in six starts since coming off the disabled last Friday.
Colby Lewis (4-5) had a rare loss against his former Oakland club despite a solid outing. The right-hander is 7-4 in 19 appearances and 17 starts against the A’s – and he’d been 5-0 over his previous seven starts in the rivalry.
A night after bouncing back from Monday’s 12-1 rout with a 6-3 victory, Texas struggled at the plate again and couldn’t do much of anything against the hard-throwing Colon. It was Texas’ first shutout since Sept. 16, 2011, by Seattle.
Even Adrian Beltre was stymied, going 0 for 4 after he came into the game with 17 hits and 13 RBIs off Colon.
He allowed five hits in eight innings, struck out five and walked one in an impressive 100-pitch performance for one of his best outings since joining the A’s in January on a $2 million, one-year contract. He threw 77 pitches for strikes. Brian Fuentes completed the five-hit shutout in 2 hours, 4 minutes with a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save in seven chances. It was the A’s shortest game of the season.
The Rangers missed a scoring chance in the second with the bases loaded and one out, but Colon got No. 9 hitter Mitch Moreland to ground into an inning-ending double play. Texas hit into another double play in the third and Colon didn’t allow another baserunner beyond first. He retired the final 11 Rangers hitters he faced.
The series finale Thursday will complete just four home games during a 16-game stretch for the A’s from May 28 to June 14.
NOTES: A’s LHP Dallas Braden, still rehabbing his strained, surgically repaired throwing shoulder, played catch out to 80 feet and reported no problems. “That’s very encouraging,” manager Bob Melvin said. … Melvin is going to stay away from using LHP reliever and former 1B Sean Doolittle in back-to-back days for now. He made his major league debut Tuesday and struck out the first three batters he faced and retired all four in order using all fastballs among his 21 pitches. What’s his best off-speed pitch? “I don’t know yet, we’ll see,” Melvin said. “It’s a slider, I hear.” … Yu Darvish (7-3) pitches for the Rangers in the series finale Thursday against Brandon McCarthy (4-3). … The A’s placed RHP reliever Andrew Carignan on the 15-day disabled list and he could be headed for elbow ligament replacement surgery after leaving Tuesday’s game in the eighth inning with a sore arm.