On Fiesta Day at O.co that included live Lucha Libre wrestling during a pre game festival, the A’s TKO’d the Astros with Bartolo Colon’s strong right arm and a tag-team melee of hits in the third inning.
After recording two outs in the third, Oakland put together a seven-run rally capped by a towering two-run home run off the bat of Seth Smith in an eventual 7-2 victory over Houston that keeps Oakland one and a half games up in the AL west.
The A’s finished their 10-game home stand with an 8-2 record, and have won 11 of their past 14 to move to 83-60 on the season.
“The last couple of weeks we’ve been playing well, and everyone is contributing on offense and defense. It’s not one or two guys that have been carrying us, and that’s how we win games around here,” said Smith.
After having underwhelming performances in his previous four starts that showed rare lack of command and velocity from the former Cy Young Award winner, Colon allowed just five hits over six innings to earn his fifteenth win of the season.
“I threw harder, I felt more powerful than the last outings,” said Colon, who was routinely hitting 93 MPH on the stadium gun.
With his fifteenth victory of the season, Colon became the first pitcher in AL history to record 15 wins with four teams, the others being the Indians, White Sox, and Angels.
The A’s caught a break when scheduled starting pitcher Paul Clemens was scratched with a blister on his throwing hand. Oakland hitters had managed just one run over 7.2 innings this year against Clemens, opposed to 14 runs over 10.1 innings against the new starter Lucas Harrell.
All seven runs scored by Oakland on the afternoon came off of Harrell, showing that the A’s see the ball well out of the hand of the righty.
With two hits on the afternoon from Yoenis Cespedes, the recently red-hot left fielder raised his average to .406 in September after entering the month batting .226.
“It just seems like we have better energy when he’s swinging the bat. He’s important to us, as everybody knows,” said Melvin about his slugger.
Next up for Oakland will be a three game series at Minnesota for the first match up of the season. After an off day, Jarrod Parker (11-6, 3.57) will look to extend the A’s winning streak to four games against Liam Hendriks (1-2, 5.28) and the Twins at 5:10 PST.