Pittsburgh, PA – Bartolo Colon got back in the win column with a seven-inning effort to give the Oakland Athletics a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a three-game set.
Colon (12-3) had an eight-start winning streak snapped last Wednesday in a loss to the Cubs, but rebounded nicely as he gave up just one run on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
Josh Donaldson scored a run and drove in one while Derek Norris also had an RBI for the Athletics, who are 10-0 all-time against Pittsburgh.
Jeff Locke (8-2) was looking to become the first Pirate lefty to win nine games in a row in 88 years, but fell short as he surrendered two runs on three hits over seven frames.
"I think as we continue to give him opportunities, he'll continue to show you who he is and what he can do," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said about Locke. "That's probably one of the better right-handed hitting lineups set up for a left-hander pitcher that he's seen this season. I thought he kept them in check."
Jose Tabata had two hits and drove in the only run for the Pirates, who have dropped three straight and five of seven.
The Pirates stranded runners on second and third in the third inning when Andrew McCutchen struck out, and the Athletics went on top in the fourth.
With one out, Jed Lowrie doubled to right-center and moved to third on a wild pitch. Donaldson then lofted a sacrifice fly to center.
The score stayed that way until the seventh when Norris drew a bases loaded walk with two outs, but Grant Green struck out to end the frame.
Pittsburgh finally got on the board in the seventh, but a nice defensive play kept the Pirates from getting more. With one out, Clint Barmes doubled and pinch-hitter Travis Snider followed with a single to left. After Starling Marte struck out, Tabata hit a chopper down the third base line and reached base to plate a run.
McCutchen then stepped to the plate and ripped a liner that appeared to be headed to the gap, but Coco Crisp hustled over and made a diving catch to keep the A's ahead.
Ryan Cook left men on second and third in the eighth by retiring Barmes on a fly ball. Grant Balfour set the Pirates down in order in the ninth for his 23rd save of the season.
"That's kind of what he's built for. He does kind of thrive on 'I can't give up anything,'" Oakland manager Bob Melvin said about Balfour.
Oakland has won four of its last five overall ... Colon hasn't give up more than three earned runs in 11 straight starts ... Emil Yde was the last Pittsburgh southpaw to win nine straight decisions, in 1925 ... Locke has been charged with three earned runs or less in his last 15 starts and 16 of 18 overall ... Pittsburgh went just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 men on base ... McCutchen extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a 1-for-4 night, while Marte went 0-for-5 to have his career-high 12-game hitting streak stopped.