OAKLAND -- Cold reception. The A's jumped all over 45-year-old Bartolo Colon Monday evening at the Coliseum, tagging the 45-year-old starter for seven earned runs on 10 hits over five innings. They kept the pressure on from start to finish, coming away with a 9-0 win over the Texas Rangers and moving back into a tie for first place in the AL West, thanks to the Seattle Mariners' win against the Houston Astros.
With Colon struggling, newcomer Mike Fiers threw seven innings of shutout ball in his third start for Oakland. The former Tiger allowed just one hit while striking out eight before yielding to the bullpen.
Fiers retired the final 18 batters he faced to improve to 2-0 in an A's uniform. Ryan Buchter and Shawn Kelley finished off the shutout win.
Rookie Ramon Laureano led the way for Oakland, hitting his first career home run in the third off of Colon. He crushed a second shot in the sixth inning to chase the 21-year MLB veteran to finish with a career-best five RBI on the night.
Khris Davis added a tape-measure shot in the third inning for his 37th homer of the season and Stephen Piscotty hit a bomb to deep center in the seventh to finish off the scoring.
The bottom-four hitters in the A’s lineup combined to hit 11-for-17, score seven runs and knock in seven RBI as Oakland improve to 75-40 on the season.
Texas finished the evening with just three hits. Nomar Mazara hit the lone extra-base knock for the Rangers, a double off of Fiers in the second inning.
Reinforcements on the way
The A’s are four games into a 20-day stretch without a break. It’s a brutal streak of games, spanning Aug. 17 through Sept. 5, but help is on the way.
As of Sept. 1, teams can expand their roster to include anyone on the organizations 40-man squad. Oakland won’t bring up 15 extra bodies, but there is already a plan in place to add players at positions of need.
“You try to err on the side of too many, as opposed to too little,” manager Bob Melvin said during his pregame media session. “We’ll have a good complement of guys coming.”
With the A’s relying heavily on their bullpen throughout the season, you can expect the front office to add plenty of arms to the mix.
“We’re going to make sure we cover our bases on what we potentially may need, whether it’s injury, whether it’s we’re down a few guys in the bullpen, whether it’s a little bit more length than what we have down there right now,” Melvin added. “And then some guys that have been part of this thing too.”
In addition to the extra arms, there’s a good chance that Dustin Fowler and Franklin Barreto return from Triple-A Nashville. An extra catcher might be in the cards as well for maximum lineup flexibility down the stretch.
Fresh off another quality start, veteran Brett Anderson takes the ball for the A's Tuesday evening as they look for a second straight win against the Rangers. Anderson posted 7.2 innings of sparkling shutout ball against Seattle, but failed to register a decision in Oakland's 2-0 loss. Texas has yet to name a starter for Tuesday’s 7:05 start.