Colon outduels Locke as A's beat Pirates, 2-1
Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke pitched like an All-Star on Monday against the Oakland Athletics. He worked seven innings and gave up two runs and three hits.
Unfortunately for Locke and the Pirates, A's right-hander Bartolo Colon is an All-Star, too.
Colon scattered seven hits and kept the Pirates' offense in check, as the A's held on for a 2-1 victory.
The loss snapped Locke's eight-game winning streak, the best stretch by a Pirates lefty since Emil Yde won nine in a row in 1925. It also ended Locke's run of 16 straight starts without a loss, a franchise record.
“Losing anytime makes you appreciate (winning),” Locke said. “One thing you can't control in this game is the wins and losses.”
On Saturday, Locke, 25, became a first-time All-Star when he was selected by National League manager Bruce Bochy. Colon, 40, is on the American League roster for the third time in his 16-year career.
Locke (8-2) held the A's hitless until the fourth, when Jed Lowrie doubled off the base of the Clemente Wall with one out.
Lowrie went to third base on a wild pitch. The throw from catcher Russell Martin was there in plenty of time, but Pedro Alvarez missed with a swipe tag. Lowrie scored on Josh Donaldson's sacrifice fly to center field.
“If that happens 100 times, 99 times I'll tag him,” Alvarez said. “It's just one of those plays.”
The crowd of 23,743, not realizing Alvarez whiffed on the tag, booed third base umpire Scott Barry as Lowrie ran to the plate.
Locke labored in the seventh, when he gave up two hits and two walks that allowed the A's to stretch their lead to 2-0.
Lowrie and Donaldson began the inning with back-to-back singles. Consecutive two-out walks to Chris Young and Derek Norris forced in a run.
The Pirates broke through against Colon (12-3) in the seventh. Clint Barmes doubled off the left field wall, and Travis Snider lined a pinch-hit single. With two outs, Jose Tabata hit a dribbler that third baseman Donaldson couldn't snag. Barmes scored.
Colon went seven innings, allowed one run and struck out five. His 105th pitch of the night (he finished with 108) was a 95 mph fastball that Andrew McCutchen couldn't catch up to in the zone — not bad for an old-timer like Colon.
“He was just throwing his fastball all night,” McCutchen said. “He threw me one slider, I think. Other than that, all fastballs.”
That has always been Colon's winning formula.
“He really beats up the strike zone,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He throws as many strikes as any pitcher we've seen all year or will see all year, and he pitches to his strengths. He can pitch tight, stay away and elevate when he wants to. But most of it's done in the strike zone.”
Colon has allowed 15 walks in 120 1⁄3 innings this season. Over his past 10 starts, he has a 1.48 ERA. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Colon is the first pitcher in major league history to win at least each of his first six starts in his 40s.
“He's a great dude,” said Martin, who was Colon's teammate with the New York Yankees in 2011. “He plays the game like a kid. I think he just doesn't take the game too seriously anymore. He just goes out and has fun, always has a smile on his face, no matter what the result is.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates again approach Polanco about contract extension
- Pirates’ search for division title rests on starting rotation’s health
- Pirates notebook: Reliever Holdzkom among three players cut
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 7, Tigers 3
- Reversing the field: Pirates continue to raid Yankees for hidden skill
- Steelers’ Tomlin, Pirates’ Hurdle share similar philosophy
- Pirates notebook: Locke the choice to be 5th starter
- Pirates notebook: Decker leaves game with calf injury
- Pirates pitchers finding success with expanded strike zone
- Pirates’ outfield may have few defensive peers
- Starting 9: As franchise values soar, do owners hold or sell?