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(Thursday, August 2nd)
Final Score: Oakland 4, Toronto 1
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Bartolo Colon spun eight scoreless innings on Thursday as the Oakland Athletics downed the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-1, in the opener of a four-game set at the Coliseum.
Colon (8-8) scattered seven hits and walked just one while striking out three to earn his second straight victory. Sean Doolittle surrendered a pair of hits in the ninth before Ryan Cook came on to nail down his 11th save of the year.
"Early in the game I didn't know if he had his best stuff to tell you the truth, but he finds a way," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin of Colon. "He makes you make the adjustment."
Josh Reddick crushed a two-run homer, while Seth Smith and Brandon Inge each knocked in a run to help snap Oakland's brief two-game skid.
Henderson Alvarez (7-8) surrendered three runs on four hits and five walks to earn the loss. Pinch-hitter Moises Sierra plated Toronto's lone run with an RBI groundout as the Blue Jays dropped their fifth straight game.
"We're in a stretch where runs are at a premium," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "It's difficult to string hits together right now. You have to credit Colon. He stayed out of the middle of the plate."
The A's struck first in the bottom of the third as Eric Sogard singled to start the frame before moving to second on a wild pitch. Coco Crisp's line out then moved Sogard to third before a base hit from Smith plated Sogard for a 1-0 advantage.
Reddick, who snapped a career-high 0-for-21 streak with a single in the first, then drove a fastball over the wall into the seats in right-center field to give the A's a 3-0 lead.
"That's all it takes sometimes is a hit," said Melvin of Reddick's slump. "For the psyche, that's big for him. You could almost just see his spirits lift after the hit."
In the seventh, Chris Carter and Yoenis Cespedes walked before Brandon Moss singled to load the bases with one out. Inge then followed with a base hit to left to plate Carter and provide the A's with an insurance run.
Colon was done after eight strong frames and Doolittle entered from the bullpen for the ninth.
David Cooper served his fourth offering into center for a double before Rajai Davis' single put men on the corners. After Yan Gomes fanned, Cook took over on the mound and induced Sierra's RBI groundout.
Brett Lawrie followed with a single, but Cook grounded out Colby Rasmus to end the game.
Colon has faced the Jays 24 times and is now 10-5...Smith left the game with a strained left hamstring...Oakland went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base...Toronto finished 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10.
08/03 02:54:11 ET