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Oakland at Pittsburgh

Scoreboard
Oakland (53-37) «000100100231
Pittsburgh (53-35)000000100190

Colon, A's tame Pirates

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- At 40 years old and 16 seasons into his major league career, Bartolo Colon thinks he's having a career season.

On Monday night, Coco Crisp's speed helped preserve another win for Colon.

Colon allowed one run over seven innings to outduel Jeff Locke as the Oakland Athletics won for the ninth time in their past 12 games, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 in a matchup of All-Star starters.

Colon (12-3) moved into a tie for second in the majors in victories, and has the second-most wins by a 40-year-old in A's history. He allowed seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts.

The final pitch Colon threw Monday resulted in Crisp making a diving catch to preserve Oakland's lead. Crisp ran to his right to track down a hard-hit sinking liner headed for the left-centerfield gap from Andrew McCutchen with two men on and two outs.

"The game was decided right there, to tell you the truth," said A's manager Bob Melvin, who called the catch "the play of the year."

Said Colon, through a translator: "I said, three times, `Thank you,' when we got back to the dugout."

Colon shook off a tough-luck 3-1 defeat in his previous start to win for the ninth time in his last 10 outings.

"I've never pitched better than this year," said Colon, the 2005 AL Cy Young winner. "This has been my best season."

Locke (8-2) had a personal eight-game winning streak snapped, losing for the first time since his first start of the season April 10. He allowed three hits and three walks in seven innings.

"I wouldn't change anything about it," said Locke, selected as an All-Star over the weekend. "Everything I did, I'd take it out there the next start."

Except, perhaps, a walk of Derek Norris with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh that gave the A's a 2-0 lead.

The Pirates got runners on second and third with two outs against Ryan Cook in the eighth, but Clint Barmes lined out to left.

Grant Balfour remained perfect in 23 save opportunities when he worked a flawless ninth.

Jed Lowrie had two of Oakland's three hits and one of its runs. The A's (53-37) improved to a season-high 16 games over .500 and held on to first place in the American League West.

Jose Tabata, Pedro Alvarez and Barmes each had two hits for the Pirates (53-35), who have lost five of seven to lose their grip on the majors' best record -- and on first place in the NL Central. They trail the St. Louis Cardinals by a half-game.

Locke faced one more than the minimum through six innings. Oakland's first run came on Josh Donaldson's sacrifice fly in the fourth. Lowrie had the Athletics' first hit of the game, a double off the wall in right-center. He advanced to third on a wild pitch -- catcher Russell Martin's throw beat him, but Alvarez's tag swiped through too early.

"There's nothing I can do there," Alvarez said. "Try to tag him and run into it. It's just, that happens 100 times and 99 out of 100 times I'll tag him, you know? Just one of those plays."

The Pirates' only run came in the bottom of the inning when Barmes scored on a two-out infield single by Tabata. McCutchen -- an All-Star selection who earlier extended his hitting streak to 10 games -- came up and hit the ball hard into the gap, but Crisp thwarted Pittsburgh's chance to tie or take the lead.

"Right when I hit it, I knew he was going to catch it," McCutchen said. "It's Coco Crisp and he's fast. I told myself, `I'm catching that ball too, if I'm out there playing.'

"Off the bat, I knew there was a chance it would fall but there was more of a chance he was going to catch it."

Notes

  • Oakland is 10-0 all-time against Pittsburgh -- the only team in the majors to have never lost to another team in the majors.
  • Pirates 2B Neil Walker sat out his second consecutive game since leaving Saturday's game because of discomfort in his right side. He worked out during batting practice.
  • Before the game, the A's recalled 2B Grant Green from Triple-A Sacramento. The 2009 first-round pick went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in his major league debut. Oakland designated INF Adam Rosales for assignment. Melvin said Green will regularly be in the lineup.
  • Rookie right-handers will face each other during the middle game of the series Tuesday: The Pirates' Gerrit Cole (4-1, 3.94) against the A's Dan Straily (5-2, 4.52). Straily is 2-0 with an 0.69 ERA and .119 opponents' batting average in interleague play this season; Cole won each of his first four starts until losing a 6-4 decision to Philadelphia in his most recent outing Thursday.
 
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Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

J. Tabata
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Oakland

B. Colon
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 1
K 5
 
Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Coco Crisp, CF4000010 .260
Jed Lowrie, SS4120010 .303
Josh Donaldson, 3B3111000 .319
Yoenis Cespedes, LF3000102 .223
Nate Freiman, 1B4000002 .277
Chris Young, RF2000100 .188
Derek Norris, C2001100 .208
Grant Green, 2B3000023 .000
Bartolo Colon, P2000010 .000
    Seth Smith, PH1000000 .272
Totals2823235  
a-popped out for Colon in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jed Lowrie (23, Locke)
SF - Josh Donaldson (5)
RBI - Josh Donaldson (58), Derek Norris (19)
2-OUT RBI - Derek Norris (13)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
E - Jed Lowrie (13, Missed catch of throw)
PB - Derek Norris (5)
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Bartolo Colon (W,12-3) 7711150 2.69
Ryan Cook (H,13) 1200010 2.58
Grant Balfour (S,23) 1000000 1.77
Pitches-Strikes - Bartolo Colon 108-78, Ryan Cook 11-7, Grant Balfour 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bartolo Colon 10-7
Batters Faced - Bartolo Colon 30, Ryan Cook 5, Grant Balfour 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Starling Marte, LF5000024 .288
Jose Tabata, RF4021000 .304
    Michael McKenry, PH1000000 .189
Andrew McCutchen, CF4010015 .303
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4020001 .249
Russell Martin, C4000012 .245
Garrett Jones, 1B3010110 .257
Brandon Inge, 2B3000012 .184
    Gaby Sanchez, PH-1B1000002 .234
Clint Barmes, SS4120004 .207
Jeff Locke, P2000000 .067
    Travis Snider, PH-RF2010000 .226
Totals3719116  
a-flied out for Wilson in the 9th
b-popped out for Inge in the 8th
c-singled for Locke in the 7th
Batting
2B - Clint Barmes (7, Colon)
RBI - Jose Tabata (9)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Tabata (8)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Inge-Barmes-G. Jones
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeff Locke (L,8-2) 7322340 2.15
Justin Wilson 2000010 1.98
WP - Jeff Locke (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Locke 96-56, Justin Wilson 20-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Locke 8-8, Justin Wilson 1-4
Batters Faced - Jeff Locke 26, Justin Wilson 6
Game Information
Attendance - 23743
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Scott Barry