Colon pitches the A’s to third straight win

OAKLAND COLISEUM — During this stretch of Interleague play, the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals have learned firsthand that the A’s are a pretty good ballclub.

In a two game set, the Reds were swept by the Athletics highlighted by a two-hit shutout from A.J. Griffin in Wednesday’s series finale.

And Bartolo Colon had another solid outing pitching eight innings allowing six hits and a run in a 6-1 rout of the Cardinals, Friday night.

Colon retired the first 13 batters he faced. He improves to 11-2 in 16 starts, has an eight game win streak with a 1.37 ERA allowing only nine earned runs, and tied for second most wins in the Majors.

Manager Bob Melvin isn’t concerned Colon did not pitch a complete game given his reliability in his outings:

A’s manager Bob Melvin

Video: CSN California via MLB.com

“I need to get him through a whole season, he’s 40 years old. And eight’s enough. We’ve seen that game plenty of times out of him: eight innings, 100 something pitches, one run. It seems like we’ve seen that game a lot.”

Seth Smith hit a two run single, Josh Donaldson a run scoring single, Josh Reddick and Jed Lowrie with RBI doubles as the A’s batted around in the second inning scoring five runs.

Donaldson says Colon has been so consistent this season he practically expects him to win when it’s his turn in the rotation:

A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson

Audio: Ryan Leong/SFBay

 “I don’t expect anything less now.  He’s just one of those guys that goes out there, gives us a chance to win and he’s been dominant. It really hasn’t even been a question. I don’t even know what more I can say about him, he’s been awesome for us.”

The icing on the cake, the first Major League hit by Stephen Vogt in the fourth, a home run to right ending an 0-for-32 to start his career.

Video: CSN California via MLB.com

Vogt told SFBay a home run is the most memorable for your first hit in the bigs:

A’s catcher Stephen Vogt

Audio: Ryan Leong/SFBay

 “It’s pretty neat. I mean obviously to get your first hit to be a home run it’s a pretty special group to be a part of but I would have taken a swinging bunt all the same but it was a really neat feeling and I’m really honored to have a hit.”

Rookie Shelby Miller is one of the up in coming stars of the Cardinals rotation. But he was seeing stars after he was knocked out in the second inning after throwing 61 pitches lasting only 1-2/3 innings giving up six hits and five runs. It was Miller’s first career appearance against the Athletics. Miller has lost three of his last four starts.

The one positive for the Redbirds, 5-1/3 innings of one run relief by Joe Kelly. His one blemish, the home run by Vogt.

The A’s with the fifth best record in Baseball, keep pace with the Rangers and are 1/2 a game back of the lead in the American League West.

Notes

Colon is the first pitcher in baseball history to win his first seven starts at the age of 40. It’s Colon’s first eight start win streak and the first Athletics pitcher to win eight consecutive starts since Barry Zito won eight straight from June 28-Aug. 4, 2005. … The A’s have won 15 of their last 17 home games. … 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was at the game showing his support wearing an A’s cap.