Bartolo Colon’s seven innings of two-run ball wasn’t enough as he and the Athletics suffered a 3-1 loss at the hands of Matt Garza and the Cubs on Wednesday night at the Coliseum.
The loss snapped a streak of eight consecutive victories for Colon who hadn’t lost since May 9. Even still he wasn’t bad, allowing two runs on nine hits over seven innings of work. Garza was much better though as he scattered four hits and a run while striking out five in eight innings.
Chicago quickly jumped ahead in the top of the first when Starlin Castro reached on an infield single. After Colon uncorked his first wild pitch since 2009, Alfonso Soriano drove Castro home with a base hit to center to give the Cubs a 1-0 advantage. The lead was extended to 2-0 in the third when Luis Valbuena hit a solo homer to right.
The A’s magic we’ve become so accustomed to seeing looked to surface in the bottom of the fourth when Brandon Moss clubbed his 15th homer of the year. It was a solo shot to right to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.
That score remained until the top of the eighth when the Cubs added an insurance run on back-to-back doubles from Dioner Navarro and Brian Bogusevic to make it a 3-1 Chicago lead.
In the eighth the A’s got a lead-off single from Coco Crisp and nothing else against Garza. Then in the ninth a two out walk from John Jaso was all the Green and Gold could muster off of Kevin Gregg.
While many people are panicked because the Cubs are a bad team, keep in mind the A’s lost two to the White Sox, who have a worse record than the Cubs. They also dropped one to Milwaukee who also has a worse record than the North Siders.
So while the tendency might be to get upset over a loss to the Cubs because of the Cubs’ less than favorable history, don’t panic, A’s fans. Losses happen. It’s early July, the A’s are still in first, and Oakland faced a very good pitcher in Garza.
The Swingin’ A’s will look to find their stroke against southpaw Travis Wood on Thursday afternoon at O.Co Coliseum. Dan Straily, who was optioned by the A’s 10 days ago, will be called up to start in place of Jarrod Parker who is resting a sore right hamstring that cut his last start short.
– Despite the loss on Wednesday, Colon’s ERA still sits at 1.57 in his last nine outings as he continues his strong push for an all-star bid.
– The A’s totaled just four hits on Wednesday night (Better than zero … too soon?). That’s their lowest output in the hit column since June 8 against the White Sox. The A’s haven’t had fewer than four hits since April, when they only amassed three hits six times in the first month of the season.
– Oakland is 0-9 when they collect four hits or fewer. They’re 3-14 when pounding out five or fewer hits.
– With a base hit Wednesday night, Jed Lowrie has hit safely in 21 of his last 28 games.
– This is the 37th time the A’s have scored three or fewer runs in a game. They’re 7-30 when the offense can’t muster more than three.