De La Rosa dominates A's in pitchers' duel
OAKLAND -- Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa tossed seven scoreless innings against the A's, leading the Rockies to a 2-1 victory at the Coliseum on Tuesday night and evening the three-game series.
De La Rosa -- who left his last start after five innings with a cut on his middle finger, and dealt with swelling and numbness Tuesday -- limited the A's to four hits, striking out four and walking four, one of which was intentional.
"It felt like I was grabbing an egg with my finger, but I was able to keep pitching," said De La Rosa, whose finger worsened in the sixth, when he escaped a bases-loaded jam.
Oakland starter Chris Bassitt, pitching in place of an ill Sonny Gray, was responsible for one run in five solid innings. Ben Zobrist scored the A's lone run, doubling off right-hander Tommy Kahnle with two outs in the eighth and coming home on Billy Butler's ensuing single.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A calm escape: The Athletics' Billy Burns reached third with no outs and the A's loaded bases with one out in the sixth when De La Rosa calmly worked a scoreless inning. Zobrist's grounder to third erased Burns in a rundown. With the bases loaded, De La Rosa fanned Josh Phegley and, on a 3-1 pitch, forced Brett Lawrie into a grounder to third.
"I knew he was going to hack -- he was going to swing at that pitch, so I threw a changeup around the middle, trying to get a groundball," De La Rosa said.
Bassitt delivers: Called upon from Triple-A Nashville to replace Gray on just three days' rest, Bassitt gave the A's five strong innings, throwing 84 pitches. The right-hander, who walked nine batters in 10 2/3 innings out of the bullpen in his first stint with the A's this year, walked none Tuesday and struck out three -- including Rosario on a 97-mph fastball to strand a pair of runners in the fourth inning. More >
"I don't know that we could've asked for much more," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Based on what we saw last time, it was more of an issue of throwing strikes, and he threw strikes tonight, got outs, mixed his pitches well, had good movement and different velocities on his two-seamer and his four-seamer, from 92 to 97."
Think like a catcher, run like an ex-catcher: Rosario put himself in position for the Rockies' important second run when he went from first to third on Brandon Barnes' two-out single in the sixth. Rosario, who scored on a wild pitch, tested the strong arm of Athletics right fielder Sam Fuld, whose throw was off-target.
"That was a good time to be aggressive," Rosario said. "The way we lost the last three games, I knew we needed to stop that."
Gone wild: Fernando Rodriguez's seventh-inning wild pitch may have proved to be the difference in this one, but the A's had their scoring chances, going 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranding seven. Rodriguez struck out the side in the sixth, fanning a feared trio of Troy Tulowitzki, Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez, before allowing a leadoff single to Rosario in the seventh. The A's dropped to 6-20 in one-run games.
"You can look back and say this play cost you X, but there were some opportunities before, you never know how it's going to play out later because of matchups and so forth, but he pitched well," Melvin said. "His stuff was good today. Did a lot of good things, just one ball gets to the screen and, in a 2-1 game, that's the second run, so it is tough."
"It's easy to keep going when you're out there on the mound and the other guy has a different jersey on. You're competitive instincts take over." -- LaTroy Hawkins, who at 42 consistently pumped fastballs at 94 and 95 mph to earn the save. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The A's fell to 4-14 when the opponent starts a left-handed pitcher compared to 31-31 when they face a right-hander.
The Rockies ended their Interleague road losing streak at 14 games -- one shy of the record, owned by the Dodgers in 2005 and 2006.
Rockies: The Rockies have won seven of the nine games started by righty Chad Bettis (3-2, 3.56 ERA), who takes his turn Wednesday against the Athletics in the series finale at 1:35 p.m. MT at the Coliseum.
A's: Right-hander Jesse Hahn, who is 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA over his last seven starts, will be on the mound for Wednesday's series finale against the Rockies.
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