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Oakland at Colorado

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Colorado «10050000x6100

Jennings, Colorado bullpen hold A's to one hit in shutout

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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DENVER -- Coors Field has given Colorado a home-field advantage since the day its doors opened in 1995.

Eleven years later, it's still giving the Rockies an edge, but now for a different reason.

"Everyone is talking about the ball park again, it's just the other side of the coin," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "Anybody that has been around here a long time knows there were a lot of cheap home runs here. That's not the M.O. anymore."

That's for sure.

Jason Jennings and two relievers combined on a one-hitter -- the second-lowest hit total in Coors Field's 11-year existence -- and the Rockies beat the Oakland Athletics 6-0 on Tuesday night.

Coupled with a 7-0 win over the A's Monday night, it marked the second back-to-back shutouts at Coors; five Rockies pitchers did it in consecutive games April 30 and May 1, 2002.

It also was the seventh overall shutout -- fourth by the Rockies -- at the hitter-friendly park this season. That's one more than the team record set in 1997 and tied for the most in the majors this season -- with 47 games still left on the schedule.

"I think there ought to be an investigation," A's manager Ken Macha said.

Jennings (6-6) overcame six walks in seven innings for his third straight win, teaming with Tom Martin and Brian Fuentes for the first one-hitter in Rockies' history.

It's also the third time there has been one hit or less at Coors Field, along with Hideo Nomo's no-hitter for the Dodgers on Sept. 17, 1996, and the one-hitter by Florida's Pat Rapp on Sept. 17, 1995.

And this one could have been a no-hitter had right fielder Brad Hawpe come up with a diving catch on Jason Kendall's bloop single to open the game.

But whether it's a one-hitter or a no-hitter, there's clearly something dramatically different about Coors Field this season -- and it might not have anything to do with the ball-drying humidor in the basement.

"Some people think it's the humidor, some people think it's just a different game," Jennings said. "On our staff we think we are just pitching better and that has something to do with it."

Jennings got off to a shaky start, allowing the game-opening single to Kendall and walks to Nick Swisher and Bobby Crosby to load the bases with two outs, but got Dan Johnson to fly out to end the inning. Jennings didn't allow another hit after that and offset his six walks with six strikeouts to become the first Rockies pitcher to win three straight starts.

He got plenty of help from the offense.

J.D. Closser hit his second homer of the season, Cory Sullivan and Garrett Atkins each had two-run doubles and Colorado had 10 hits for its ninth win in 14 games.

That part's not surprising. The Rockies have been pounding out hits since their inaugural season. But to have consecutive shutouts for the third time in team history -- at San Diego in 2001 and at Coors in 2002 were the others -- that might cause a double-take from around the league.

"The park is turning the way where you can have two shutouts in a row," Hurdle said. "It's started in the second half of last season and, again, there aren't as many high-scoring games. It gives us a dimension now in which we feel confident here that we can put up zeros and manufacture runs. It all goes with the kind of ball club we are building."

It hasn't helped the A's any.

Oakland came into the series with Colorado on a majors-best 10-game winning streak, but has struggled at Coors, managing eight hits in two games.

The A's got a solid start out of Dan Haren in the first game of the series, but couldn't get anything going at the plate to end the fifth-longest winning streak in team history.

Oakland didn't even get the pitching this time.

Starter Esteban Loaiza (2-4) was solid in his previous two starts, going 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA, but clearly didn't have his best stuff against the Rockies.

Colorado got a run in the first inning on Todd Helton's single and batted around against the right-hander in a five-run fourth, getting a solo homer from Closser and two-run doubles from Sullivan and Atkins to go up 6-0.

Loaiza was lifted after intentionally walking Brad Hawpe with two outs, leaving after allowing six runs and nine hits -- the sixth time in 15 starts he's allowed five or more runs.

"I got some pitches up. They hit them," Loaiza said. "They are a free-swinging team. They just swing."

Notes

  • Oakland's Eric Chavez was 0-for-3, dropping him to 6-for-39 over the past 11 games.
  • Colorado's Jamey Carroll is hitting .423 over the past 14 games after going 2-for-3 against the A's.
  • Oakland's pinch hitters were 0-for-2, stretching the A's hitless streak to 29 at-bats over spanning two seasons, including 0-for-19 this year.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Dan Johnson and the A's have been shut out in back-to-back games in the thin air at Coors Field.  (AP)
Dan Johnson and the A's have been shut out in back-to-back games in the thin air at Coors Field. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

J. Jennings
IP 7.0
H 1
ER 0
BB 6
K 6
Colorado

T. Helton
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Oakland Athletics
Jason Kendall, C4010011 .261
Nick Swisher, LF1000310 .286
Mark Kotsay, CF4000004 .270
Eric Chavez, 3B3000023 .262
   a- Antonio Perez, PH1000010 .050
Bobby Crosby, SS2000200 .248
Dan Johnson, 1B4000015 .242
Jay Payton, RF2000000 .269
    Chad Gaudin, P0000000 .000
   b- Doug Clark, PH1000010 .000
    Ron Flores, P0000000 .000
Marco Scutaro, 2B2000100 .216
Esteban Loaiza, P0000000 .000
    Bobby Kielty, RF2000010 .284
Totals260106813 
a-struck out for Chavez in the 9th
b-struck out for Gaudin in the 7th
Batting
SH - Esteban Loaiza (1)
Team LOB - 6
Oakland Athletics
Esteban Loaiza (L,2-4) 3.2966431 6.94
Chad Gaudin 2.1100010 4.21
Ron Flores 2000020 3.38
IBB - Helton by Esteban Loaiza, by Hawpe
Pitches-Strikes - Esteban Loaiza 69-40, Chad Gaudin 10-8, Ron Flores 21-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Esteban Loaiza 4-4, Chad Gaudin 1-5, Ron Flores 3-1
Batters Faced - Esteban Loaiza 24, Chad Gaudin 8, Ron Flores 6
Colorado Rockies
Jamey Carroll, 2B4220112 .333
Cory Sullivan, CF4112021 .264
Todd Helton, 1B3121100 .294
Matt Holliday, LF4010013 .352
Garrett Atkins, 3B4012002 .318
Brad Hawpe, RF2000212 .301
J.D. Closser, C4111003 .238
Omar Quintanilla, SS4010000 .250
Jason Jennings, P2110010 .194
    Tom Martin, P0000000 .000
   a- Choo Freeman, PH1000000 .243
    Brian Fuentes, P0000000 .000
Totals3261064613 
a-grounded out for Martin in the 8th
Batting
2B - Cory Sullivan (16, Loaiza), Todd Helton (17, Loaiza), Garrett Atkins (22, Loaiza)
HR - J.D. Closser (2, Loaiza)
SH - Cory Sullivan (14), Jason Jennings (6)
RBI - Cory Sullivan 2 (10), Todd Helton (31), Garrett Atkins 2 (46), J.D. Closser (5)
2-OUT RBI - Garrett Atkins 2 (12)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Carroll-Quintanilla-Helton
Colorado Rockies
Jason Jennings (W,6-6) 7100660 4.02
Tom Martin 1000010 5.06
Brian Fuentes 1000010 2.20
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Jennings 81-47, Tom Martin 14-8, Brian Fuentes 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Jennings 8-6, Tom Martin 1-1
Batters Faced - Jason Jennings 27, Tom Martin 3, Brian Fuentes 3
Game Information
Attendance - 21753
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Mark Wegner, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Marvin Hudson