Cespedes, Colon lift A's past Indians

Associated Press Modified: August 19, 2012 at 12:32 am •  Published: August 19, 2012
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Bartolo Colon only used his changeup twice, in the first inning and on the last pitch he threw. The way his fastball was dancing around the strike zone, the Oakland Athletics' right-hander really didn't need his offspeed stuff.

It's been that way most of his career and the 39-year-old Colon sees no reason to change now that he's enjoying a renaissance with the A's.

Colon pitched eight strong innings for his third consecutive win at home, Yoenis Cespedes homered and drove in three runs and Oakland beat the Cleveland Indians 8-5 on Saturday night.

"What you see is what you get out of him," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He makes you make the adjustment. He's got great movement on his fastball, he's on the corners on both sides. We've seen quite a bit of that this year."

Colon (10-9) struck out three and scattered five hits while beating his former club for the sixth time in 10 starts. The burly right-hander didn't give up a hit until the fourth and allowed only two runners past first base.

In doing so, Colon became the third-oldest pitcher in Oakland history to reach double digits in wins after turning 35. Don Sutton (1985) and Tom Candiotti (1998) are the others.

"I didn't know that. I had no idea about it," Colon said. "I'm happy about it. At the same time I want the team to continue to play like we are."

It's the ninth time this season Colon has not walked a batter and the 18th time in 24 starts with Oakland that he's walked one or fewer.

The 10 wins are also the most for Colon since he had a career-best 21 with the Angels in 2005.

"(He) did a real good job," said Cleveland right fielder Shin-soo Choo, who singled off Colon in the fourth. "You know he's going to throw that two-seamer and you still can't hit it."

Cespedes homered and drove in three runs, Josh Donaldson had two hits and an RBI while Coco Crisp added two-run triple for Oakland, which won its third straight after entering the night one-half game behind Baltimore for the second wild-card spot in the American League.

On a night when the A's celebrated the 10th anniversary of their 20-game winning streak, Cespedes managed to steal a bit of the spotlight. He hit a two-run home run against Indians starter Corey Kluber (0-2) in the third and added an RBI single off reliever Cody Allen in the seventh.

It was the second home run in three games for the A's slugger after he went 54 at-bats without an extra base hit. Cespedes finished 2 for 4 and is batting an AL-best .377 (46 for 122) since the All-Star break.

"He gets frustrated, he gets mad but he never presses," Melvin said of Cespedes. "Shoot, when we signed him if we knew he'd have the numbers he has right now, boy we would have taken it in a heartbeat."

That was all the support Colon needed to win for the fourth time in five starts. He gave up Carlos Santana's 13th home run with two out in the seventh but was otherwise stellar.

Grant Balfour recorded one out for his 11th save after Oakland's bullpen nearly let it get away in the ninth.