After a tough series in Arlington, the Athletics needed a win in Seattle in the worst way. With Bartolo Colon on the hill, they had to feel pretty good about their chances. Yoenis Cespedes got things started early with an impressive two-run home run in the top of the first inning, it was his 14th of the season. With a 2-0 lead, Bartolo took to the mound to protect an early lead, something that the Athletics have struggled mightily to do over the last week.
Is it just me or does Yo’s jersey look looser than normal? (Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports)
Bartolo did protect that lead for a couple innings before Nick Franklin took him deep for a three-run home run to give the Mariners a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 3rd. Once again the Athletics had failed to hold down a lead. But this time, the Athletics were primed and ready to return the favor that had been dealt to them all week long.
Jed Lowrie took the second pitch of the top of the 4th inning and deposited it into the bleachers in right center field to tie the game at 3. It was certainly nice to see the A’s rebound rather than let the opposition run away with the lead once they had snatched it from the grasp of the Athletics.
Colon would continue to roll after his one mistake pitch, and Coco Crisp would reward him with a win by smacking his 11th home run of the year to give the A’s a 4-3 lead in the top of the 6th inning. From that point on Colon continued to mow down the Mariners, and would get some assistance from a pair of baserunning blunders as well.
Colon would work through 8 innings, retiring the side on just 6 pitches in the 8th inning. He allowed just those 3 runs on the home run, and nothing more. He allowed 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4. What aided him tonight was the 6 first pitch outs he recorded. His All Star resume of a 10-2 record with a 2.93 ERA looks pretty strong. Grant Balfour worked around a bloop single for his 18th save of the season, and 36th consecutive successfully converted.
Balfour’s save was made a little more comfortable by Yoenis Cespedes’ second homer of the night, another 2-run shot for his 15th of the season, his 3rd multi-home run game of June. He now has 40 RBI as well. For someone who hasn’t even gotten hot yet, his numbers are quite impressive.
The A’s look to start building a new winning streak tomorrow as Dan Straily (4-2, 4.97 ERA) takes on once upon a time former Athletics pitcher Aaron Harang (3-7, 5.28 ERA). After a string of strong outings for Straily he got roughed up a bit in his last outing in Texas, so this will be a good chance for him to regain his dominant form.