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Athletics blank Red Sox in rain-shortened seven-inning game

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Associated Press
4/23/2013 11:15:05 PM
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BOSTON -- The rain kept falling and Bartolo Colon kept throwing fastballs for strikes.

He did it while wearing a short sleeve shirt while other players wore head coverings that left only a part of their faces exposed.

The 39-year-old right-hander allowed three hits in a rain-shortened seven-inning complete game and the Oakland Athletics broke a four-game losing streak with a 13-0 win over the Boston Red Sox on a chilly, windy Tuesday night.

"That's the perfect guy to have on the mound in games like that," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said, "a guy who's going to throw strikes, doesn't let the conditions affect him and keeps everybody on their toes because they know, potentially, the ball's going to be in play very quickly.

"He was the right man for the job."

Colon (3-0) needed just 24 pitches to get through the first two innings, 21 of them strikes. By the end, he had thrown 67 strikes and just 27 balls.

"He likes to use his fastball any time," regardless of the conditions, Colon's interpreter said.

But he said he was "a little" sad that he walked his first batter this season in 25 innings when Jacoby Ellsbury reached first leading off the sixth.

The Red Sox made many more mistakes than the A's, who capitalized on eight walks, two balks and two errors.

The A's broke a scoreless tie with six runs in the third when Seth Smith hit a two-run homer, then added two in the fourth, four in the fifth and one in the sixth.

Colon struck out seven and allowed only an infield single in the first by Dustin Pedroia and two-out singles in the fifth by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jonny Gomes.

"It was really cold and every time I'd catch the ball I hurt my hand. It didn't seem to faze (Colon) at all. I guess he's been doing this for a while," A's catcher John Jaso said. "He's a guy who doesn't complain."

Aceves (1-1) retired the first four batters then struggled before being relieved by Steven Wright with the score 8-0 with one out in the fourth. It was, by far, the worst performance by a Boston starter this season. In the other 19 games, starters allowed three or fewer runs 18 times and four runs once.

Oakland went ahead in the third when the first four batters reached base.

"The weather conditions weren't ideal, but to say that it was a major distraction, I don't know that we can go that far. We see what Bartolo did against us," Boston manager John Farrell said. "I thought Alfredo got off to a couple of good innings and then in the third inning things started to unravel.

"It was an ugly inning."

Eric Sogard walked, Coco Crisp singled and Jaso and Smith walked, scoring the first run of the game. Aceves struck out Jed Lowrie before the inning got away from him.

Brandon Moss hit a two-run single, a balk put runners at second and third and a sacrifice fly by Josh Donaldson made it 4-0. Josh Reddick then hit a hard grounder that first baseman Mike Napoli stopped, but Aceves was late covering the base and Reddick was safe.

"It was my fault," Aceves said.

Moss kept running and scored. And when Aceves' throw home went wild for an error, Reddick took second.

Another balk sent Reddick to third and he scored on a throwing error by third baseman Will Middlebrooks on a grounder by Chris Young, making it 6-0.

"There seemed to be a lack of focus" by Aceves, Farrell said.

The Athletics took an 8-0 lead in the fourth on Smith's second homer of the year then added four runs in the fifth off Wright on a two-run double by Crisp and a two-run single by Jaso. Melvin was anxious for the inning to end, making it an official game.

"I was a little nervous because it started raining a little bit harder in the fifth," he said. "You can't tell anybody to go up there and make an out and you never know how many (runs) you're going to need (but) you breathe a little bit more a sigh of relief once you're done with the fifth."

Reddick's RBI double in the sixth gave Oakland a 13-0 lead.

The A's finished with 13 hits after managing a total of 11 in their previous three games and had eight walks for the second consecutive game.

Notes: The stands were nearly empty when the game was called and the Red Sox announced that anyone with ticket stubs could use them to attend games Wednesday against Oakland or Thursday night against Houston. In the second home game of the year, the Red Sox' sellout streak of 794 games in the regular season and 820 including the playoffs officially ended. ... The Athletics started five former Red Sox players -- CF Crisp, SS Lowrie, 1B Moss, RF Reddick and Colon. ... Wright, a knuckleball pitcher promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket last week, made his major league debut. ... In the finale of the three-game series on Wednesday night, Brett Anderson (1-3) pitches for Oakland against Jon Lester (3-0). ... Ellsbury's 12-game hitting streak ended.

Seth Smith (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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