When Bartolo Colon gets tagged, the damage usually comes in the fourth inning. But Thursday night, he couldn’t get that far as the A’s were pummeled 10-6 by the Detroit Tigers.
The Tigers knocked Colon (3-3) out of the game in the third inning after he surrendered seven earned runs on nine hits.
Colon entered the third ahead 2-1 after Kila Ka’aihue blasted his first home run of the season with left fielder Seth Smith aboard in the bottom of the second. But the lead evaporated after Colon gave up a pair of singles followed by an off-the-wall double to Miguel Cabrera.
The next batter, Prince Fielder, reached base on an error by first baseman Ka’aihue and the A’s paid the price after Delmon Young and Alex Avila followed with a single and a double. Colon finally recorded an out when the seventh batter of the inning, Ryan Rayburn, flew out to right; but the A’s starter was given the hook after the next hitter, Brennan Boesch, smacked a double.
Reliever Jordan Norberto didn’t fare too much better. He surrendered a double to the first batter he faced, as well as a walk and a single, before ending the torturous inning by getting Fielder to fly out.
With the score 9-2, the last six innings were merely a formality; the A’s have only scored more than seven runs once in their past 49 games.
Oakland mounted a mini-rally in the eighth when Brandon Inge smacked his second grand slam of the week.
The start was uncharacteristic of Colon’s season to date. The seven earned runs were equal to almost half of the 15 he’d allowed in his previous seven starts. Nine of those runs were surrendered in the fourth inning.
Prior to the outing, Colon had been dazzling in his first three innings of work, allowing a grand total of two earned runs for a miniscule 0.86 ERA.