Seventh-inning outburst backs Colon, A's win series
Donaldson hits go-ahead two-run single, Moss smacks three-run HR
MILWAUKEE -- Somewhere, Bob Melvin is saying, "I told you so."
Oakland's manager has been adamant about Brandon Moss finding his way out of ongoing struggles, in firm belief he would do so soon.
On Wednesday he said it again, and on Wednesday he was right.
Moss launched a three-run homer off Brewers lefty Michael Gonzalez to highlight a five-run seventh inning that carried the A's to a 6-1 victory over Milwaukee in the rubber game at Miller Park.
Oakland, which has not lost a series since May 13-15 against Texas, has won of 16 of its last 19 and is 11 games over .500.
"When you get on streaks like that, it means you're doing something right," Melvin said. "Not just on the pitching end but the offensive end."
Moss entered the day batting .125 with 28 strikeouts over his last 25 games. He struck out in his first at-bat on Wednesday, but it was of no matter when he pulled the first pitch he saw from Gonzalez into the right-field seats.
Each of Moss' three hits in his last 25 at-bats have been home runs.
"I went back out and told myself I was going to try to stop pulling the ball," Moss said. "I know I'm at my best when I'm pulling the ball, and when I pull the ball it's usually when I hit it the hardest. But for some reason right now when I'm trying to pull it, my swing just elongates and I'm either under fastballs or I'm rolling over offspeed. It just hasn't been a good combination.
"I told Jed [Lowrie], 'I'm just going to try to sit there and whenever the ball gets in the zone I'm going to hit it the other way and use that part of the field,' because whenever I try to pull it, it's not working."
Gonzalez threw him a slider on the outer part of the plate that he turned on and crushed.
"I don't think it was too bad a pitch," Gonzalez said. "I think he ambushed it. He was looking breaking pitch, and he guessed right."
It was Moss' first hit off a lefty since May 11.
"It felt good to do it off a lefty," he said. "It's definitely one of those situations where you want to have a good at-bat and come through. I definitely wasn't trying to hit a home run. I was just trying to get a pitch over the plate and stay through and hit it hard. I rarely expect to hit a home run off a lefty because it's just so hard to do.
"Today was actually the first day where I felt like I could take something from the game and build on it. It's one of those things, you go through those times during the season, have to battle through it and hope you come out sooner than later. This game is so weird, but my mindset is a lot better and I'm not pressing near as much."
Moss' efforts were aided by Josh Donaldson's bases-loaded single off starter Yovani Gallardo that scored Oakland's other two runs in the inning, giving Bartolo Colon plenty of support for his seventh win of the season.
Colon -- pitching just one day after the publication of an ESPN report that he and some 20 other big leaguers will be targeted for suspensions by Major League Baseball for their connection with Florida's Biogenesis clinic and its distribution of performance-enhancing drugs -- gave his club the type of performance that's been expected of him all year.
The righty limited the Brewers to one run in seven innings, scattering eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks on 93 pitches. Colon has now given up only three runs in his last four starts (30 innings), lowering his ERA to 3.14, and he said after the game he hasn't pitched this well since his Cy Young-winning season in 2005.
As for the latest PED reports, Colon insisted he hadn't even heard of them. Truth or not, they surely didn't affect him.
"It didn't appear, no," Melvin said.
"Sometimes against teams that are really aggressive, you almost want to tell him, 'Hey, you could throw a ball every now and then,'" Melvin continued. "But there's so much movement on his ball that even aggressive swingers, when they start their swing path, the ball moves so much that even when they're aggressive and swinging at strikes, it's not on the barrel off the bat."
Said Moss: "There's no guy in the big leagues that pitches like that and throws as many fastballs as he does, as many strikes as he does and still doesn't get hit."