OAKLAND COLISEUM — In his first game back from the disabled list, Josh Reddick hit the game winning RBI double in the bottom of the eighth and Coco Crisp added a two-run single lifting the Athletics to a 3-0 win over the White Sox.
The A’s have won seven of their last eight and 12 of 14 games. Reddick says he was glad to once again be in the mix:
A’s right fielder Josh Reddick
Video: CSN California
“It felt great. These guys have been playing great without me so for me to come up here and be able to contribute feels really good knowing that they’ve been doing such a great job without me for the last three weeks.”
Bartolo Colon (6-2) went the distance scattering five hits, striking out three in his first complete game shutout of the season and the 11th of his career. He blanked the Red Sox at Boston on April 23 but that was a rain shortened seven inning outing.
Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura was impressed by the 40-year old Colon:
“Bartolo was throwing great. He’s a smart pitcher as far as if you’re trying to be patient and work early. He’s a strike thrower. He gets ahead early. Guys were trying to swing at it were beating it into the ground. He’s got a medicine ball type sinker. He’s a good pitcher.”
Colon has been a picture of pinpoint control. In 70-1/3 innings he has issued a total of four walks.
White Sox slugger Adam Dunn says it was vintage Colon on the mound:
“What he’s been doing his whole career. He’s got two different types of fastballs. His sinker is one of if not the best in the game. When it moves like that it’s tough to get it in the air. His ball moves so much all you have to do is miss the sweet spot on the bat and he does that as good as anybody.”
Chicago pitcher Dylan Axelrod (3-4) was the tough luck loser, pitching seven innings giving up four hits and two runs, striking out seven.
In the eighth, John Jaso led off with a double to left-center. He scored on the two-bagger by Reddick to right field. Ventura made a pitching change for lefty reliever Matt Thornton. But Thornton walked Brandon Moss.
Another pitching change for righthander Jesse Crain and A’s manager Bob Melvin countered with Adam Rosales pinch hitting for Eric Sogard. A successful sacrifice by Rosales advanced Moss and Reddick to second and third respectively.
Crisp followed with a single to center scoring both runners and increasing the lead to 3-0.
Colon and Axelrod were locked up in a pitcher’s duel until the eighth. Colon allowed only four singles in the first five innings.
Axelrod retired the first eight batters he faced until a single to right by Sogard.
Both teams continued to battle toe to toe. In the top of the seventh, Colon gave up a one out single to Paul Konerko but he was prompty erased by a highlight reel twin killing. Sogard with a diving stop and then a flip to shortstop Jed Lowrie and then onto first completing the 4-6-3 double play.
Axelrod himself was dealing and following the Sogard single, he set down the next 11 batters in a row until a two-out single to center by Seth Smith.
Colon was still throwing hard in the ninth inning. Alex Rios fouled out to first baseman Brandon Moss on a 94 mph fastball to end the game.
Said Colon through interpreter Ariel Prieto:
“I feel proud to pitch the way that I did tonight and it’s the team I played for back in the day and I’m happy the way I pitched.”
This was the shortest game of the season for the A’s at 2:14. … Colon is the first 40-year old pitcher since Curt Schilling on June 7, 2007 to throw a shutout. … Yoenis Cespedes was 0-for-3 ending his 12-game hit streak. Cespedes was 15-for-50 (.300) during the streak. … Josh Donaldson in batting practice homered into the ‘O’ net in the O.com sign in left field. If hit by an A’s player during a game, a lucky fan wins a $10,000 gift certificate to Overstock.com. Donaldson celebrated the feat by running the bases in reverse order. … The White Sox have lost four straight.