Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Oakland leads 1-0 (as of 7/8)

Game 1: Monday, July 8
Oakland2Final
Pittsburgh1
Game 2: Tuesday, July 9
Oakland2Final
Pittsburgh1
Game 3: Wednesday, July 10
Oakland0Final
Pittsburgh5

Athletics 2

(53-37, 25-23 away)

Pirates 1

(53-35, 29-16 home)

    Coverage:  ROOT

    7:05 PM ET, July 8, 2013

    PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

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    OAK 000100100 2 3 1
    PIT 000000100 1 9 0

    W: B. Colon (12-3)

    L: J. Locke (8-2)

    S: G. Balfour (23)

    Bartolo Colon improves to 12-3, outduels Jeff Locke in Athletics' win

    Associated Press

    PITTSBURGH -- At 40 years old and 16 seasons into his major league career, Bartolo Colon thinks he's having a career season.

    On Monday night, Coco Crisp's speed helped preserve another win for Colon.

    Colon allowed one run over seven innings to outduel Jeff Locke as the Oakland Athletics won for the ninth time in their past 12 games, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 in a matchup of All-Star starters.

    Colon (12-3) moved into a tie for second in the majors in victories, and has the second-most wins by a 40-year-old in A's history. He allowed seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts.

    The final pitch Colon threw Monday resulted in Crisp making a diving catch to preserve Oakland's lead. Crisp ran to his right to track down a hard-hit sinking liner headed for the left-centerfield gap from Andrew McCutchen with two men on and two outs.

    "The game was decided right there, to tell you the truth," said A's manager Bob Melvin, who called the catch "the play of the year."

    Said Colon, through a translator: "I said, three times, `Thank you,' when we got back to the dugout."

    Colon shook off a tough-luck 3-1 defeat in his previous start to win for the ninth time in his last 10 outings.

    "I've never pitched better than this year," said Colon, the 2005 AL Cy Young winner. "This has been my best season."

    Locke (8-2) had a personal eight-game winning streak snapped, losing for the first time since his first start of the season April 10. He allowed three hits and three walks in seven innings.

    "I wouldn't change anything about it," said Locke, selected as an All-Star over the weekend. "Everything I did, I'd take it out there the next start."

    Except, perhaps, a walk of Derek Norris with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh that gave the A's a 2-0 lead.

    The Pirates got runners on second and third with two outs against Ryan Cook in the eighth, but Clint Barmes lined out to left.

    Grant Balfour remained perfect in 23 save opportunities when he worked a flawless ninth.

    Jed Lowrie had two of Oakland's three hits and one of its runs. The A's (53-37) improved to a season-high 16 games over .500 and held on to first place in the American League West.

    Jose Tabata, Pedro Alvarez and Barmes each had two hits for the Pirates (53-35), who have lost five of seven to lose their grip on the majors' best record -- and on first place in the NL Central. They trail the St. Louis Cardinals by a half-game.

    Locke faced one more than the minimum through six innings. Oakland's first run came on Josh Donaldson's sacrifice fly in the fourth. Lowrie had the Athletics' first hit of the game, a double off the wall in right-center. He advanced to third on a wild pitch -- catcher Russell Martin's throw beat him, but Alvarez's tag swiped through too early.

    "There's nothing I can do there," Alvarez said. "Try to tag him and run into it. It's just, that happens 100 times and 99 out of 100 times I'll tag him, you know? Just one of those plays."

    The Pirates' only run came in the bottom of the inning when Barmes scored on a two-out infield single by Tabata. McCutchen -- an All-Star selection who earlier extended his hitting streak to 10 games -- came up and hit the ball hard into the gap, but Crisp thwarted Pittsburgh's chance to tie or take the lead.

    "Right when I hit it, I knew he was going to catch it," McCutchen said. "It's Coco Crisp and he's fast. I told myself, `I'm catching that ball too, if I'm out there playing.'

    "Off the bat, I knew there was a chance it would fall but there was more of a chance he was going to catch it."

    Game notes


    Oakland is 10-0 all-time against Pittsburgh -- the only team in the majors to have never lost to another team in the majors. ... Pirates 2B Neil Walker sat out his second consecutive game since leaving Saturday's game because of discomfort in his right side. He worked out during batting practice. ... Before the game, the A's recalled 2B Grant Green from Triple-A Sacramento. The 2009 first-round pick went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in his major league debut. Oakland designated INF Adam Rosales for assignment. Melvin said Green will regularly be in the lineup. ... Rookie right-handers will face each other during the middle game of the series Tuesday: The Pirates' Gerrit Cole (4-1, 3.94) against the A's Dan Straily (5-2, 4.52). Straily is 2-0 with an 0.69 ERA and .119 opponents' batting average in interleague play this season; Cole won each of his first four starts until losing a 6-4 decision to Philadelphia in his most recent outing Thursday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Game Information

    StadiumPNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
    Attendance23,743 (61.9% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:46
    Weather83 degrees, cloudy
    Wind9 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Scott Barry

    Research Notes

    Bartolo Colon has 12 wins this season, the most by an A's pitcher before the break since Mark Mulder in 2004 (also 12).
    Grant Balfour has converted 41 straight save opportunities, the 3rd-longest streak in AL history
      [+]
    From Elias: Colon now has 9 straight starts with 6+ IP and 3 runs or fewer since turning 40. That is the longest such streak by a player aged 40 or older since John Smoltz had a 10-game streak in 2007.
    Bartolo Colon allowed one run in seven innings against the Pirates. It was his 11th straight start of at least six innings while allowing three or fewer runs. That's tied for the second-longest such streak for the A's in the live ball era.
      [+]
    Grant Balfour has converted 41 straight save opportunities, snapping a tie with Dennis Eckersley for the Athletics' franchise record.
      [+]

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