OAKLAND -The antidote to a slumping A's offense: Los Angeles Angels right-hander Jerome Williams.
Five days after the A's knocked Williams around to avoid a sweep in Anaheim, they rebounded from a shutout by tagging him for four runs over five innings in a 6-4 win at O.co Coliseum on Friday.
“This was, for us, a pretty good offensive night here compared to what we've been doing recently,” A's manager Bob Melvin said.
In the last 14 games, the A's lineup has been cold, batting .195 and scoring an average of 2.86 runs per contest. But they reached double digits in hits (10) for the first time since July 7 on Friday and they've scored 10 runs off Williams in less than a week.
The A's benefitted from having ace Bartolo Colon (14-3) on the mound for both contests. He pitched a complete-game shutout on the road Sunday and followed it up by holding the Angels to two runs over six innings on Friday. In doing so, Colon joined Dan Haren as the only the A's pitcher since 1916 to toss more than six innings while allowing three or fewer runs in 14 straight starts.
“It just feels like every time he goes out there we are in a very good position to win,” Melvin said.
With the win, Colon tied Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers and Matt Moore of the Tampa Bay Rays for the wins lead in the American League at 14.
But the Angels hit Colon early on Friday. Left fielder J.B. Shuck led off the game with an infield single and then Mike Trout drove his 17th home run into the left-field bleachers, giving the Angels a 2-0 lead.
“I don't think stuff like that really bothers him,” Melvin said.
After two batters, Colon settled down holding the Angels to five hits and two walks over six innings. The Halos threatened the 40-year-old by putting two runners on base with two outs in the sixth, but he slithered his way out of trouble when Josh Donaldson caught an Erick Aybar popup against the tarp in front of the stands on the third base side to end the inning.
The Angels added a pair of runs in the ninth after Jerry Blevins walked two batters and Albert Pujols hooked a double down the left-field line off closer Grant Balfour. But the Australian right-hander picked up his 27th save by striking out Josh Hamilton on a fastball with Pujols aboard.
With the win, the A's stretched their lead over the Texas Rangers in the AL West to four games.
The A's offense picked up Colon in the first two innings, exploding for four quick runs. Shortstop Jed Lowrie, who is batting .208 in July, hit a solo home run, his eighth on the year, to cut the lead in half in the first inning and two-out singles from Eric Sogard, Coco Crisp and Lowrie in the second put the A's ahead 4-2.
Catcher Stephen Vogt, who was called up on to replace John Jaso on Thursday, hit his second big-league home run with Josh Reddick aboard in the sixth, giving the A's a four-run cushion, which they wound up needing.
“I got a fastball up in the zone, I was able to square it up and hit it out,” Vogt said. “I was great, obviously.”
He finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Lowrie, who added a single in the seventh, went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.