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A's Colon throws shutout at age 40

The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Forty is the new 30 for Oakland A's right-hander Bartolo Colon.

Colon won his second straight start on Friday night since turning 40 on May 24, shutting out the Chicago White Sox on five hits in a 3-0 victory.

Colon struck out three and didn't walk a batter for the second straight game. He became the first pitcher in the American League to throw a shutout at age 40 since Curt Schilling on June 7, 2007.

"I feel proud to pitch the way that I did tonight," Colon said. "It's a team that I played for back in the day and I feel happy that I pitched well against them."

Colon outdueled White Sox right-hander Dylan Axelrod, snapping the 27-year-old's three-game winning streak and sending the White Sox to their fourth straight loss. Axelrod allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings, striking out seven and walking none.

Axelrod shut out the A's for seven innings, but Oakland catcher John Jaso led off the eighth with an opposite-field double to left. Josh Reddick brought him home with a double to right, giving the A's a 1-0 lead.

"I kept them off balance and moved it around," Axelrod said. "Pretty efficient with my pitches. I'm definitely happy about that. Tough in the end. It's just one of those days where you've got to be precise the whole time. I made a mistake to Reddick at the end."

Reddick, who was activated from the disabled list after missing 22 games with a sprained right wrist, knocked Axelrod out of the game with his double.

"It felt great," Reddick said. "These guys have been playing great without me, so for me to come up here and be able to contribute, it feels really good knowing that they've been doing such a great job without me for the last three weeks.

"That guy was throwing a lot of off-speed, and that's what I was looking for, waiting for him to hang something. Had a feeling that if he didn't leave something up, then he was going to put me on and deal with the guy behind me maybe for a double play. Fortunately, he left something up."

Left-handed reliever Matt Thornton took over and walked Brandon Moss, the only batter he faced. Pinch-hitter Adam Rosales advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt against reliever Jesse Crane before Coco Crisp lined a two-run single to center off Crane, making it 3-0.

Colon and Axelrod matched zeroes for the first seven innings, and neither one allowed a base runner past first.

The White Sox had just five hits to that point, all singles.

Chicago third baseman Conor Gillaspie lined a single to center in the second, and Adam Dunn and Jeff Keppinger had infield singles in the fourth. The A's had the shift on for the left-handed hitting Dunn, but he went the other way, hitting a ground ball to the hole and beating third baseman Josh Donaldson's throw. Keppinger beat second baseman Eric Sogard's throw on his single.

Paul Konerko singled sharply with one out in the seventh, but Colon got Dayan Viciedo to hit into a double play.

"He's a smart pitcher," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Colon. "If you're trying to be patient and work him, he's a strike thrower. He gets ahead early. He has more of a medicine ball type of sinker. Guys just couldn't get underneath it and do anything with it. Even when you get a hit there's not much to it."

The A's had just two hits off Axelrod through the first seven innings. Sogard lined a two-out single to right in the third before Axelrod retired Coco Crisp on a comebacker to end the inning.

NOTES: A's C Luke Montz was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento, opening a spot on the 25-man roster for Reddick. Montz hit .179 with one home run and five RBIs in 13 games with the A's. ... White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham (fractured left wrist) resumed his rehab assignment on Thursday night at Triple-A Charlotte after five days off and went 3 for 5 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored against Toledo. On Friday night, he went 1 for 5 with a walk-off single against Rochester. "It's more on his level of pain tolerance really, of going through it," Ventura said. "But baseball stuff, he's ready to go."
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