When Bartolo Colon took the mound tonight for the Oakland Athletics to face the Texas Rangers, by all appearances the match-up was going to favor the Rangers as Colon had struggled pitching at The Coliseum. On the road has been a different story for Colon where he has been outstanding. Heading into this start he had a record of 0-4 with a 10.07 era while giving up 35 hits in only 19.2 innings and striking out eight while walking three. Even though according to his stats he had one home win, that was the start he had made in Japan against the Seattle Mariners.
The only positive going for Colon is that throughout his career he has found success against the Rangers in his 27 starts he has a record of 17-6 and the 17 wins are the most against any teams he has pitched against and with tonight’s win he now has a record of 18-6.
Colon scattered five hits in eight innings, he walked just one and struck out five and the only threat that came was in the second inning when the Rangers had the bases loaded. Michael Young singled, Nelson Cruz flew out to right field and Josh Reddick made a sensational diving catch for the first out, David Murphy walked, Mike Napoli singled to left field and Young was held up at third because of Yoenis Cespdes‘ strong arm. Mitch Moreland who has struggled of late ended the inning by hitting into a double play, which ended the treat and kept the game scoreless.
Colby Lewis pitched extremely well for the Rangers, yet the A’s were able to knock in a single run in the second inning and the fourth inning. The A’s got their first run with Cespedes leading off the inning with a double, after Seth Smith fouled out; Brandon Inge scored Cespedes on a single. The fourth inning started out with a Reddick double and Cespedes drove him in with a single. After the fourth inning neither team provided much offensively and the A’s had the best chance to tack on an additional run in the sixth inning when Cespedes tripled with two outs, yet nothing came of it.
Also, noteworthy was a play made by Cespedes in the third inning after two outs were already recorded. Josh Hamilton hit a ball to the opposite field away from Cespedes who made a diving catch with the assistance of his knee.
For Colon he was not able to seek his third career complete game against the Rangers and what would have been his first shutout after throwing 100 pitches. Closer Brian Fuentes got the call instead and had a three up and three down ninth inning to hand the Rangers their first shutout of the 2012 season. Most noteworthy was Fuentes striking out Hamilton on three pitches.
The A’s will now be looking to take the four game series 3-1 with a win Thursday afternoon.
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