ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Bartolo Colon pitched a four-hitter for his third shutout this season and center fielder Chris Young robbed Albert Pujols of a home run to help the Oakland Athletics beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-0 on Sunday.
Eric Sogard hit a two-run homer to back Colon (13-3), who struck out five and walked one. The 40-year-old right-hander, making his first start since returning from his third All-Star game, tied Max Scherzer and Adam Wainwright for the major league lead in wins while reducing his ERA to 2.52. Colon is 10-1 with a 1.46 ERA over his last 12 outings.
The 116-pitch complete game was Colon’s 35th in 395 big league starts, and the shutout was the 12th of his career. Young preserved Oakland’s ninth shutout of the year when he pulled back Pujols’ bid for his 492nd homer leading off the seventh.
Pujols came up again in the ninth with runners at first and second and took a called third strike before Colon ended it by retiring Josh Hamilton on a fly to left.
Jerome Williams (5-6) was charged with six runs – four earned – and eight hits in five-plus innings. He lost his fourth straight decision since beating Baltimore on June 12.
In his last four starts, the right-hander has allowed 20 earned runs over 13 innings for a 13.85 ERA – raising his overall figure to 4.73.
Sogard, the No. 9 hitter, had no RBIs in 40 career at-bats against the Angels until he came up in the third and drove a 1-0 pitch into the lower seats in the right-field corner for a 2-0 lead after a leadoff double by Young. It was Sogard’s second homer this season and sixth in 392 career at-bats.
The A’s extended the margin to 4-0 in the fifth. Sogard singled before Coco Crisp bunted for a hit and continued all the way to third on third baseman Alberto Callaspo’s throwing error past first base, which allowed Sogard to score from first. Four batters later, Brandon Moss singled home Crisp with two outs.
The A’s got two more in the sixth after throwing errors by catcher Chris Iannetta and first baseman Mark Trumbo, which increased the Angels’ total to an AL-worst 72. Josh Reddick was on the front end of a double steal with Young, and continued home when Iannetta’s throw caromed off Reddick and toward the dugout. Young scored when Trumbo charged Crisp’s slow bouncer and threw wildly past Iannetta.
Colon set down the Angels in order in four of the first five innings. The only exception was the third, when he gave up a one-out single by Iannetta and a walk to Erick Aybar before retiring J.B. Shuck on a double-play grounder. It was the 96th time that the Angels grounded into a double play, second-most in the majors behind St. Louis’ 98.
NOTES: Home Run Derby champion Yoenis Cespedes missed his third straight game because of a sore left wrist. “Until he actually gets in the batting cage and swings freely and then gets in there for batting practice, he won’t play,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “I’d doubt tomorrow. We want to make sure he gets in swings on the field.” … Colon, who spent four seasons with the Angels and became the second pitcher in club history to win a Cy Young Award with a career-high 21 wins in 2005, is 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA in eight starts against them since leaving the organization as a free agent in October 2007. … Colon is 8-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last nine starts against AL West teams, a stretch that began with a 10-4 win over the Angels last Aug. 7 at Oakland. … RHP Tommy Hanson, who hasn’t pitched for the Angels since June 20 because of a forearm strain, is slated to come off the disabled list Tuesday and start against Minnesota. … Crisp has gone 82 at-bats without an extra-base hit since his solo homer on June 21 at Seattle against Hisashi Iwakuma. … The Angels were 1 for 16 with runners in scoring position during the three-game series. … The A’s are 84-52 in the regular season since last Aug. 24, when they began a nine-game winning streak that catapulted them to a 27-11 finish and a division title that was clinched on the final day. … Iannetta’s hit ended his season-opening 0-for-20 drought against Oakland pitchers. … Mike Trout extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games with a one-out single in the ninth.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.