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Colon Puts A's Back On The Fast Track, 4-1

"I've seen better."
"I've seen better."

There's an old adage that "the best pitch in baseball is still the fastball". And as pitchers get too fancy, try to pitch "backwards," mix it up...It's amazing what you can do with just a good assortment of fastballs you can locate. Through 7 innings, Bartolo Colon threw fastballs all but 3 pitches. He didn't throw his first breaking pitch until the 8th. He also didn't allow a run through 8 innings.

Now to my eyes, Colon's fastball didn't always have that much "giddyup" and was often left up seemingly on a tee. Yet the Blue Jays hitters kept flying out to medium CF, lofting it to RF...So it was doing something. Because that's all he threw and it's all he needed.

Meanwhile the A's broke through against Henderson Alvarez in the bottom of the 3rd as two A's hitters broke out of slumps. Following an Eric Sogard single, a wild pitch and a Coco Crisp lineout that allowed Sogard to tag and go to 3B, Seth Smith came up against a drawn-in infield and lined a solid RBI single to RF. (Note: Smith did leave after his next at bat when he tweaked his hamstring running to 1B. Good timing, at least, as the A's face LHPs the next three games.) Josh Reddick, who snapped an 0 for 21 in the 1st with a single, then blasted a two-run HR -- his 23rd of the season and a no-doubter, "swung on, gone" missile of beauty.

Colon's one "crossroads moment" came in the 6th when the Jays loaded the bases with two out, but Rajai Davis did what he does best: Not get hits against RHPs. Davis grounded out to 1B to end the Jays' only real threat against Colon

The A's added on in the 7th on a bases loaded single by "Brandon Inge, RBI masheeeeeen!" and then the A's survived a scare in the 9th inning. Sean Doolittle surrendered a double to David Cooper, then an infield hit to Davis when Rajai beat Doolittle to the bag on a routine bouncer to 1B. A fielder's choice plated Toronto's only run but a Brett Lawrie single up the middle brought the tying run to the plate against closer Ryan Cook. Cook had to retire Colby Rasmus, owner of 19 HRs and fortunately Rasmus is still stuck on 19 as his two-hopper to 2B fell considerably short of the bleachers.

With the win, the A's regain possession of 2nd place in the AL West and possession of "Thing 1" (the first wild card), leap fogging back over the Angels. The intrigue continues tomorrow, as the A's send to the mound...Dan Straily. He'll probably throw more offspeed pitches than tonight's starter did.