OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Billy Butler’s first triple in nearly three years was the talk of the clubhouse.
Butler also singled, Jesse Hahn pitched six solid innings and the Oakland Athletics beat the Colorado Rockies 4-1 on Wednesday.
“I was a little out of breath,” Butler said. “The only way I’m getting a triple — I’m glad he’s all right — is if he goes down. The only thing I thought about was it took away from my doubles total.”
A’s manager Bob Melvin said it was an unusual way to start the offense.
“It’s probably going to be the only triple we see out of him this year,” Melvin said.
Hahn (6-6) improved to 4-1 over his last six starts after giving up one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out six.
“Everything felt pretty good,” Hahn said. “The first couple of innings I was up in the zone. Then I got into a groove.”
Tyler Clippard retired the final four hitters for his 14th save.
Butler, Josh Reddick, Mark Canha and Eric Sogard drove in runs as the A’s won the series. Billy Burns added two hits and scored twice.
Chad Bettis (4-3) allowed three runs on seven hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings. Nolan Arenado went 0-for-4, ending his 17-game hitting streak. Carlos Gonzalez recorded his 14th multiple hit game.
“It wasn’t the start that I wanted to have and I need to be a lot more efficient with my pitches,” Bettis said. “I feel like stuff was flattening out in the middle innings.”
Butler led off the third with a shot into left field. Rafael Ynoa slammed into the wall and was shaken up as Charlie Blackmon had to chase down the ball, allowing Butler to chug into third, his first three-bagger since August 2012.
Butler scored on Sogard’s sacrifice fly, and hit an RBI single in the fifth. Burns tripled leading off third and scored on Reddick’s double.
“I’m not going to lie, I was a little worried,” Hahn said. “But he put his head down and gave it everything he had. The guy made a bad throw. It was funny but awesome.”
The Rockies scored in the fourth on doubles by Ben Paulsen and Nick Hundley.
“We had opportunities, and you need to execute when they show up,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “But Hahn was good. He’s got a deceptive fastball, throws a curve off of that. He was throwing the ball well. He did a nice job.”
Rockies: SS Troy Tulowitzki was given a routine day off because of the quick turnaround from Tuesday night. Manager Walt Weiss never thought about using him as a DH. “I brought it up to him in Houston and he didn’t like it,” Weiss said. “I didn’t bother him this time.”
Athletics: Ace Sonny Gray spent the night in a hospital with severe gastritis, a stomach ailment that keep him from making the start Tuesday night. He was released Wednesday. “This wasn’t a minor thing,” Melvin said. “We wanted to make sure he was hydrated.” Melvin is unsure if Gray will be ready for his next on Sunday. Chris Bassitt will start if Gray can’t go.
Rockies: LHP Chris Rusin (3-2, 4.69) makes the start in Thursday night’s series opener at Arizona. He’ll be facing the Diamondbacks for the first time in two years. He’s 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA against them in two previous starts.
Athletics: LHP Scott Kazmir (4-5, 2.79) starts against the visiting Seattle Mariners on Thursday night. He’s 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA over his past six starts and 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA in six starts against the AL West.