Graveman, homers help A's cruise past Rox
OAKLAND -- The A's got home runs from Josh Reddick, Ike Davis and Billy Butler, powering their way to a 7-1 win against the Rockies in Monday's series opener at the Coliseum to snap a three-game losing streak.
Right-hander Kendall Graveman tossed seven scoreless innings in the win, allowing just five hits. The A's tallied nine hits against Rockies right-hander David Hale, including a pair of two-out, two-run homers from Reddick and Davis in the first inning. Butler led off the fourth with a solo shot and also hit an RBI double off Christian Friedrich in the eighth, finishing a triple shy of the cycle.
"He wants to be the guy that we brought in here to drive in runs, and you definitely saw that tonight," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Butler. "Three good at-bats, hitting the ball down the line, up the middle. Sometimes it takes a game or two where you get some good swings, hit some balls hard, then you're off to the races."
Hale went seven innings, allowing five runs for the third consecutive start. Colorado's lone run came in the eighth, when Charlie Blackmon hit his 10th home run, a solo shot off A's right-hander Evan Scribner.
Graveman "made us hit the ball on the ground, for the most part -- we were hitting the top of the ball all night," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Hale was taken aback by the aggressiveness of the Athletics early in counts. Reddick's homer, for example, was on the first pitch.
"It did [surprise me]," Hale said. "They're known to be a pretty patient team."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Graveman's gem: Graveman, who struck out three and walked three in Monday's win, has been terrific for the A's since returning from Triple-A on May 23, posting a 2.01 ERA in eight starts since then. In his last five, he's completed at least seven innings and allowed two runs or fewer.
"If you get a fifth starter pitching like that, it means everyone in the rotation is contributing," Melvin said. "And if you look at our numbers, everyone is contributing. We saw what he had in Spring Training, and since he's come back, he's pitched as consistently as anyone we have in the rotation." More >
Streaking, but not getting places: Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki fought off a Graveman pitch for a leadoff single in the fourth, which extended his hit streak to 13 games. But Graveman worked Nolan Arenado into a double-play grounder to deflate any possible threat. In the sixth, Tulowitzki and Arenado singled -- with Arenado extending his streak to 16 games -- but Carlos Gonzalez grounded into the inning's final out.
"I got some pitches to hit and put a good swing on them, but [Graveman] attacked the zone, and his numbers from the past couple of starts have been pretty good," Tulowitzki said. "He's a good pitcher."
Homer happy: The A's had gone four straight games without a home run before they hit three in the first four innings Monday, improving to 19-12 when they outhomer their opponent. For Davis, who also doubled in the sixth, it was just his third home run of the season and first since May 7.
Adding some life: Unable to crack Graveman, the Rockies tallied against Scribner with Blackmon's 10th homer, to open the the eighth. Blackmon has hits in 12 of his last 13 games.
"Disturbing. I was just doing the best I could to protect my hat or my face from getting pooped on. It was kind of strange. I don't know what it was, but something was on the outfield grass, they seemed to enjoy it. But that's something you don't usually see unless it's 4 o'clock in a day game. It was definitely something different." -- Reddick, on the seagulls flying around the Coliseum during the game
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Rockies have dropped 15 straight road games against American League teams -- the second-longest such streak in the Interleague era. The Dodgers lost 16 straight in 2005 and 2006.
Rockies: Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (4-3, 5.15 ERA) left his last start after five innings (four hits, one run) because of a cut on his throwing middle finger. But he was able to do bullpen sessions and is slated to start Tuesday against the Athletics at 8:05 p.m. MT.
A's: Ace Sonny Gray, who leads the American League in ERA (2.09) and is tied for second in wins (9), gets the ball for Tuesday's middle matchup of this three-game set with the Rockies at the Coliseum. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PT.
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