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April 24, 2013

Fittingly, Oakland pours it on in the rain

The Associated Press

BOSTON - The rain kept falling and Bartolo Colon kept throwing fastballs for strikes.

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

Colon, 39, 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 victory against 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."

Colon (3-0) needed 24 pitches to get through the first two innings, 21 of them strikes. By the end he had thrown 67 strikes and 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 he walked his first batter this season in 25 innings when Jacoby Ellsbury reached 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 a six-run 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."

Alfredo Aceves (1-1) retired the first four, 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 after the first four batters reached.

"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," Boston Manager John Farrell said. "I thought Alfredo got off to a couple of good innings and then in the third things started to unravel. It was an ugly inning."

NOTES: The stands were nearly empty when the game was called and the Red Sox said anyone with ticket stubs could attend games Wednesday against Oakland or Thursday night against Houston.





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