ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Watching Bartolo Colon pitch his third shutout of the season brought back some fond memories for Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia. The problem was, the Angels’ former Cy Young Award winner did it in an Oakland Athletics uniform.
Colon held the Angels to four singles – two by Chris Iannetta during the first eight innings, and two more in the ninth by J.B. Shuck and Mike Trout – en route to a 6-0 victory that included Chris Young’s home run-robing catch of Albert Pujols’ drive to center field leading off the seventh.
“It seems like he’s dipped into the fountain of youth,” Scioscia said of the 40-year-old Colon. “He’s throwing the ball as well as he was 10 years ago, and there’s obviously been a resurgence in his career. For a couple of years, it looked like age was catching up with Bart and his velocity wasn’t quite there. But he’s always had incredible command.”
Los Angeles starter Jerome Williams (5-6) was charged with six runs – four earned – and eight hits in five-plus innings. The right-hander lost his fourth straight decision since beating Baltimore on June 12.
Oakland’s first two runs came on a third-inning homer by No. 9 hitter Eric Sogard, his sixth in 392 career at-bats. Sogard had no RBIs in 40 career at-bats against the Angels until he drove a 1-0 pitch into the lower seats in the right-field corner after a leadoff double by Young.
“It was a sinker, supposed to be down and away. That was one of the mistakes I made,” Williams said. “It’s already out of my system. Maybe tomorrow I’ll look at video.”
In his last four starts, Williams has allowed 20 earned runs over 13 innings for a 13.85 ERA – raising his overall figure to 4.73.
“The linescore didn’t look too good, but I thought Jerome threw well,” Scioscia said. “He had both sides of the plate going.”
The A’s extended the margin to 4-0 in the fifth. Sogard singled before designated hitter 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 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 at the plate.
“The guys behind me were trying their best. You can’t dwell on it,” Williams said. “I try to pick the guys up. They’re trying their best, I’m trying my best. That’s all you can ask for.”
Colon (13-3) struck out five and walked one. The 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.
“Ageless wonder,” is how Trumbo described Colon after going 0 for 3. “He’s got a lot of movement on the ball. His pitches all start out at about the same place. You just have to try and gauge where it’s going to end up. A lot of times it’s off the fist. It’s really tough to pick up any spin off his ball. It’s a testament that he’s able to throw games like this at the age that he is. It’s obviously a little more going on than what you might see.”
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 as a free agent in October 2007.
“When Bart was younger, he not only was a guy who could throw very hard, but was also able to command the fastball at 95 (mph) and hit corners with his two-seamer – and then run it up to 98 if he needed to,” Scioscia said. “Now he’s getting a little of that back. And when you’re pitching at 93, 94 with good movement and command, you’re going to have good results.”
The 116-pitch complete game was Colon’s 35th in 395 big league starts, and the shutout was the 12th of his career. He ended it by throwing a called third strike past Pujols and retiring Josh Hamilton on a fly to left.
“It’s pretty amazing – and he was sick today on top of it,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “You saw the velocity. It was down all day, so he did it a little bit differently today with more movement and less power – and he still got it done.”
NOTES: The Angels grounded into their 96th double play, second-most in the majors behind St. Louis (98). … The Angels were 1 for 16 with runners in scoring position during the three-game series. … Trout extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games. … Iannetta’s first hit ended his season-opening 0-for-20 drought against Oakland pitchers. … 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.