MILWAUKEE (AP) — Bartolo Colon is working harder this year — and it shows.
Colon won his fourth straight start and Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer in the Oakland Athletics’ 6-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.
“I’m working more than last year; I’m still fat but that don’t mean nothing,” Colon said through an interpreter. “I’m working harder than last year.”
Colon (7-2) gave up one earned run and eight hits in seven innings to help Oakland win for the 16th time in its last 19 games. He struck out four and walked two.
“He’s been terrific,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “Today presents some different challenges in that he has to hit, and that’s always a little bit of a distraction. The last thing you want is him running down the line. So it feels like it takes a little more out of you when you have to go through the National League game when you’re not used to it. But he continues to go out there and be economical. I could’ve potentially let him go out there one more inning, but he pitched nine innings last time and gave us a solid seven this time. He’s on a nice roll.”
Colon is among more than a dozen players who have been tied to a now-closed Miami anti-aging clinic under investigation by Major League Baseball. The right-hander missed the end of last season when he was suspended 50 games after testing positive for synthetic testosterone.
Colon said he was unaware of the report until a reporter brought it up after the game because “I don’t like to see the news.” He also declined to comment on a possible suspension.
Milwaukee left fielder Ryan Braun, who has also been linked to the clinic, did not play because of a lingering thumb problem. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said it had nothing to do with the latest suspension rumors.
“I understand why you want to bring this up, but this isn’t an issue here,” Roenicke said. “And I know it is your job to do that, but it really isn’t an issue. That is why I don’t need to address it. Because there is nothing it.”
Yovani Gallardo (4-6) allowed six hits and five earned runs in six innings to lose for the fifth time in his last six starts.
The A’s broke a 1-1 tie with five runs in the seventh to win for the eighth time in their last 11 road games. Gallardo says a leadoff walk to John Jaso was the key.
“That hitter, I just wasn’t as aggressive as I was throughout the whole game,” Gallardo said. “During that seventh inning, that is something dumb, I guess. I got away from what I was doing and the next thing you know I ended up walking him and getting into trouble.”
That’s because Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie then singled to load the bases. Josh Donaldson, who finished with three hits, hit a two-run single to right field that gave Oakland a 3-1 lead, and Gallardo was replaced with Michael Gonzalez.
Gonzalez got Seth Smith to fly out, but Moss smashed the first pitch he saw into the stands for his ninth homer of the season — Oakland’s 12,000th overall — and a 6-1 lead. It was just the third hit for Moss in his last 31 at-bats and also snapped an 0-for-9 skid.
“This game is so weird,” Moss said. “I definitely feel that my mindset’s a lot better. I’m not pressing near as much. But today was actually the first day where I felt like I could take something from the game and build on it.”
Colon, coming off a five-hit shutout against the White Sox on Friday, wriggled out of two jams.
With the score tied 1-1 in the fifth, Milwaukee had runners on first and third with no outs. But Gallardo was out at home when he tried to score on Jean Segura’s ground ball to Donaldson at third. Carlos Gomez then grounded into a double play.
In the sixth, Jonathan Lucroy hit a leadoff single and took second on Logan Schafer’s sacrifice bunt. But Colon got Yuniesky Betancourt to fly out and then struck out Juan Francisco.
Colon’s streak of 18.1 straight innings without allowing a run came to an end in the first when Gomez’s triple to center field scored Segura for a 1-0 lead.
Oakland tied the score at 1-1 in the fifth, as Lowrie scored from third when Smith grounded into a double play.
Notes: Oakland’s 18-6 record since May 11 is the best in the majors. . The A’s improved to 6-24 in their last 30 games in Milwaukee. . Colon entered the game with just four walks all season. . Scooter Gennett collected his first career hit with a single in the ninth. ... The Brewers placed RHP Marco Estrada (4-4) on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. RHP Tyler Thornburg was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to take his place. . Milwaukee RHP Jim Henderson will begin a rehab assignment with Class-A Beloit on Friday. He’s been on the DL since May 25 with a strained right hamstring.