Posted August 03, 2012 on AP on Fox
Josh Reddick hit a two-run homer to back another strong outing by Bartolo Colon, and the Oakland Athletics beat the slumping Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 on Thursday night. Brandon Inge and Seth Smith also drove in runs for the A's, who improved to 14-5 since the All-Star break. Oakland, held to no more than one run in three of its previous four games, moved past the Los Angeles Angels into second place in the AL West. The A's are 4 1/2 games behind Texas. The Blue Jays have lost five straight, matching their season high. Colon (8-8) scattered seven hits over eight shutout innings, extending his scoreless streak to 16 1-3 innings. The 39-year-old right-hander has not allowed a run since the fourth inning against the New York Yankees on July 22. Colby Rasmus, Edwin Encarnacion and Yunel Escobar had two hits apiece for Toronto. Eric Sogard singled leading off the third, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Smith's single to right. Reddick followed with his 23rd home run, a towering shot into the bleachers above the right-field scoreboard to give Oakland a 3-0 lead. The A's missed an opportunity to add on when Toronto left fielder and former Athletic Rajai Davis misplayed Coco Crisp's fly ball. Davis appeared to lose the ball in the lights as it sailed past his glove and rolled to the fence. Crisp, who slowed to a trot on his way to first, raced to third but was stranded there after Brandon Moss later grounded out with the bases loaded. Colon did the rest. He retired 15 of 18 during one stretch and pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth by getting Davis to ground out. Colon had three strikeouts and one walk. Henderson Alvarez (7-8) struggled with his control and lost for the second time in six decisions. He had a season-high five walks, pitched with runners on base in all but one of his five-plus innings, and struck out one. Oakland made it 4-0 in the seventh when Inge singled home Chris Carter to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. The Blue Jays scored in the ninth to avoid the shutout. David Cooper doubled leading off against Sean Doolittle, went to third on Davis' infield single and scored two batters later on Moises Sierra's groundout. Four of Toronto's 10 hits didn't leave the infield. NOTES: Smith, the A's DH, left the game after straining his left hamstring trying to run out a comebacker in the fifth inning. ... Oakland SS Cliff Pennington (left elbow) may begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Friday, but the team has no plans to call him up soon. ''We'll probably ease into it a little bit,'' manager Bob Melvin said. ... Oakland made a pair of roster moves, adding INF Adam Rosales from Sacramento while INF Brandon Hicks was optioned down. Hicks was batting.183 with three home runs and seven RBIs in 20 games. ... Rookie RHP Dan Straily will make his first major league start for the A's on Friday. Straily has more strikeouts (175) than any other pitcher in professional baseball, including major league leader Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals. LHP Brett Cecil (2-4) goes for Toronto.
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