- 142 wins
- 110 wins
DENVER -- "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Oakland anymore."
If around for Tuesday's slugfest between the A's and Rockies, Dorothy likely would have said as much. Coors Field, after all, is no Oakland Coliseum, as A's hitters learned in the first of a three-game Interleague set.
Not that they minded. The A's busted out for four home runs -- their most in a game since June 3, 2010, at Boston -- in the hitter-friendly park to overcome a four-run deficit and snap their three-game skid with an 8-5 win over the Rockies.
Half of the homers came from the newly promoted Brandon Moss for the first baseman's first career multi-homer game.
Moss' first, a towering shot to right field in a six-run third inning against Colorado's Jeremy Guthrie, marked the first of the season at Coors Field to reach the third deck and just the 32nd in the park's history. His second, also off Guthrie, came in the fifth.
"I hit those pretty good," Moss said, smiling. "We're in a place where the ball's known to go pretty far, anyway, so I just tried to stay on them and barrel them and hit 'em pretty good. I wouldn't have cared if it had just scraped somebody's glove and gone over the fence, though."
"I liked 'em equally as well," manager Bob Melvin said. "I'm not prejudiced as to how far home runs go. As long as they go over the fence, I could really care less. But he did hit them both a long way. We knew he had that kind of power. It was just about whether or not he could put it together at the big league level."
The hits came early and often for both teams, with Colorado jumping out to a 4-0 advantage in the first against righty Bartolo Colon, thanks to Tyler Colvin's leadoff home run and ensuing RBI singles from Michael Cuddyer, Chris Nelson and Will Nieves.
Colon was forced to throw 41 pitches in the 37-minute frame, but the veteran was handed just the right dose of support in the six-run third that also saw Cliff Pennington homer.
And Seth Smith, making his first trip back to Colorado since being traded by the Rockies in January, collected his second double that scored Jemile Weeks and Josh Reddick. Adding to the fun was Brandon Inge, who notched an RBI double and would later launch a solo shot to left field in the seventh.
"Here, you gotta be patient, because there's always a possibility of putting up runs," Melvin said. "I didn't feel like the team came in the dugout demoralized after giving up the runs. It was good to get the big inning and then add on a little more."
"It's a script that we've been following for a bit," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "We did a great job offensively in the first inning and we pitched a very poor third inning."
Colon, meanwhile, settled after the lengthy first and allowed just one run in his final four innings of work, a Todd Helton home run in the fifth. Overall, he was tagged with five runs and nine hits with three walks (one intentional) and four strikeouts.
Melvin wasn't overly concerned about Colon's first-inning struggles, aside from the pitch count, noting that in Denver, "There are times you just have to wear it a little bit."
"He had to do some things a little differently," Melvin said. "Here, his ball doesn't run as much. That's why he was getting frustrated. He starts that ball off the plate and it usually boomerangs to the corner, where here, the air is so light, he just wasn't getting the movement, so he was actually throwing a little straighter, a little harder. As a veteran guy does, he figured out a way to give us five innings."
"In the first inning," Colon said through translator Ariel Prieto, "I kept looking to the bullpen after throwing 30 pitches. Thank goodness I finished the inning and was able to go four more."
The bullpen work was equally impressive as the offensive effort, with Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour combining for three scoreless innings before righty Ryan Cook entered the ninth for his first save opportunity since Melvin declared Saturday he would use a three-man closer by committee approach.
Cook tossed together some trouble, allowing his first two batters to reach, bringing Carlos Gonzalez to the plate. The former A's outfielder struck out swinging on Cook's slider, as did Cuddyer, and Helton's groundball out to Pennington sealed the win and the save, the first of Cook's career.
"I liked it," Cook said of the ninth-inning situation. "Definitely a little bit more of an adrenaline rush. At times, I overthrew a few pitches, but all in all, I liked it. It was fun, and I'm glad I got the win. It's a big win, getting us back in the right column. Hopefully we let 'em roll and win a lot in a row."
"He pitched well," Melvin added. "He put himself in a little situation where he has to bear down. Real quickly, he gave himself no wiggle room, but he did just fine with the middle of the order."