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A’s miss chances, lose series to Blue Jays

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A’s miss chances, lose series to Blue Jays

Eric Sogard extended his career-high hit streak to nine games while scoring a run, but he provided some of the few highlights for the Athletics in Wednesday’s rubber game against Toronto.


POSTED July 31, 2013 11:08 p.m.

OAKLAND (AP) — Bartolo Colon fell behind in the count, his velocity dropped and he hardly received the kind of run support the right-hander has become accustomed to in a sensational comeback season.

And he still felt pretty good about his day, no-decision and all. The 40-year-old All-Star also seems unfazed about his ties to the Florida lab Biogenesis being accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

Colon, a 14-game winner, allowed seven hits and two runs in six innings of Oakland’s 5-2, 10-inning loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.

“Maybe the control was not as good as before but I felt very well today,” Colon said. “Sometimes you’re behind in the count and you try to make the best pitches possible and you just can’t. That’s what happened today.”

Colon, who was suspended 50 games last Aug. 22 for a positive testosterone test, is expected to hear soon from Major League Baseball whether he faces any further penalty.

“I don’t have a good idea what you’re talking about, but I understand and I don’t want to talk about it,” Colon said when the topic came up postgame through an interpreter.

Jose Bautista hit a go-ahead double in the top of the 10th against Jesse Chavez (2-3). Rookie catcher Stephen Vogt’s second costly passed ball of the game allowed Jose Reyes to advance after a leadoff infield single, and Reyes scored on Bautista’s hit.

Colon and knuckleballer R.A. Dickey each settled for no-decisions, leaving after six innings apiece with the game tied at 2.

“It didn’t look like it was Bartolo’s best stuff,” manager Bob Melvin said. “For me it’s not necessarily the velocity. It was more the ball-strike ratio today. But at the end of the day he gives you six innings and only gives up two runs. If that’s a bad day for him, we’ll take that anytime.”

A’s All-Star closer Grant Balfour struck out the side in order in the ninth, but Chavez couldn’t hold down the heart of Toronto’s batting order.

Oakland lost for the first time in nine games with Vogt starting behind the plate. His passed ball in the fourth allowed a run to score.

The A’s missed plenty of chances in losing for only the fourth time in 11 games — and the fourth in 11 extra-inning contests this year.

“It’s not something we’re going to go home and lose sleep about but it’s definitely frustrating,” third baseman Josh Donaldson said. “There were points in the game where they were almost trying to give us the game, and we weren’t able to take advantage of it.”

Aaron Loup allowed back-to-back singles with one out in the eighth, then gave way to Steve Delabar. He struck out Chris Young and Vogt.

Dickey wasn’t helped by four errors, two of which allowed the A’s to score, and the knuckleballer did not yield an earned run. The right-hander is winless in his last five starts, going 0-3 since beating the Tigers on July 1, and has only one victory in nine starts against the A’s.

“We didn’t score a whole lot and they basically gave us a couple runs. We didn’t get too many good swings off him,” Melvin said.

Dickey collided with third baseman Brett Lawrie on an infield popup behind the mound to allow Eric Sogard to reach leading off the fifth, then Sogard scored on Maicer Izturis’ second miscue of the game when the second baseman chased down a popup in shallow right field but dropped it as he appeared to lose the ball in the sun.

“We were having with the sky, some sun,” Dickey said. “My particular play I just tripped over the Rosin bag and I heard Brett call for it late or I would have gotten out of the way, but I was on my way falling down.”

The AL West-leading A’s lost consecutive games for the first time since opening the second half by dropping two in a row in Anaheim.

They wasted a chance in the fourth against Dickey after loading the bases with no outs. Oakland last faced a knuckleballer when they beat Tim Wakefield 15-5 on Aug. 26, 2011.

A’s right fielder Josh Reddick was a late lineup scratch after he showed up at the ballpark with a headache, a day after teammate Jed Lowrie’s knee hit him in the head after both chased a foul ball along the right field line.

Melvin said it wasn’t considered to be a concussion but the team would be cautious and give him until Friday’s series opener with the Texas Rangers after an off day Thursday.

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