MILWAUKEE -- A cursory glance of the box score will do little to silence the growing legion of Yovani Gallardo's critics.
The right-hander was charged with five runs on six hits and a walk, striking out four over six-plus innings Wednesday as the Brewers fell to Oakland 6-1, at Miller Park.
But that line fails to account for what had been, at least for six innings, the best start by Gallardo this season.
Looking to win consecutive games for the first time over a month, Gallardo (4-6) held Oakland to one run on three hits through the first six innings but found himself in big trouble in the seventh, when he walked John Jaso to open the inning and loaded the bases on back-to-back singles by Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie.
Josh Donaldson made Gallardo pay for those miscues, slapping a single into right field that scored Jaso and Cespedes, giving Oakland a 3-1 lead.
Donaldson's go-ahead base hit highlighted a 3-for-4 effort and brought Gallardo's day to a disappointing end.
"The first six innings, I was able to command my curveball and slider," Gallardo said. "That walk is what I would take back from the seventh inning. The curveball to Cespedes, what are you going to do? You hit your spot and he hits a slow roller to third. It's one of those things you just can't do anything about."
With Gallardo out, Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke summoned left-hander Michael Gonzalez from the bullpen and after getting the inning's first out, Brandon Moss sent Gonzalez's first offering 423 feet to right-center to put Oakland ahead, 6-1.
The home run snapped an 0-9 slump for Moss, who has just three hits - two of them home runs - in his last 32 at-bats.
"The first day here I hit one and had some good at-bats," Moss said. "Then yesterday I hit one to the wall and had a couple good at-bats today, so I said I'm just not going to try to pull the ball."
Oakland's five-run inning gave Bartolo Colon (7-2) his first lead of the day and the big right-hander took advantage of it, keeping Milwaukee off the scoreboard in the seventh to cap off a solid, seven-inning, one-run effort.
Ryan Cook and Jesse Chavez preserved the lead with a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively, as Colon earned his fourth victory in a row, giving up eight hits and two walks while striking out four. The two walks tied a season-high for Colon, who began the day with the lowest total, three, in the American league.
"His ball has so much movement," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "For him, two walks is kind of way out of sorts but he finds a way again."
Melvin didn't think Colon was affected by a Tuesday report that mentioned him as a possible candidate for suspension in Major League Baseball's investigation into a Miami clinic alleged to have provided performance-enhancing drugs to a number of major league ball players.
Milwaukee's Ryan Braun was also mentioned in that report. Braun, though, was out of the lineup Wednesday; a day off that had been previously scheduled, according to Roenicke, due to a sore thumb that had been bothering Braun for several weeks.
With Braun out of the lineup, Roenicke's juggled lineup took an early lead on Colon, who saw his streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings disappear in the first.
Jean Segura started with his league-leading 77th base hit of the season and scored on Carlos Gomez's triple off the wall in center, snapping Colon's streak and putting the Brewers ahead 1-0.
Gallardo, who has struggled with velocity and command for much of the season, took advantage of the early run support. Despite a first-inning single by Jaso, he faced the minimum through four innings.
Lowrie opened the fifth with a single to left, moved to second on Donaldson's base hit and scored when Seth Smith hit into a double play, tying the score at 1.
Gallardo recovered and worked a scoreless sixth but his seventh inning struggles left him with five losses in his last six starts and a 5.25 ERA for the season.
"The first six innings were really good," Roenicke said. "I thought that was his best game. It's a shame, he throws a game that good and comes out with five earned runs."
Oakland won for the fourth time in five games and pulled within one game of first-place Texas in the AL West.
NOTES: Norichika Aoki went 2-for-4 and now has 1,501 career hits. He collected 1,284 of those during his eight-year career in Japan and has 217 since joining the Brewers last season ... Colon has held opponents three runs or fewer in his last five starts. ... Milwaukee placed RHP Marco Estrada on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and summoned RHP Tyler Thornburg from Triple-A Nashville. Thornburg threw two scoreless innings Wednesday and allowed three hits. ... Donaldson is batting .370 with 15 doubles, six home runs and 29 RBI in his last 42 games.