Gelof, Laureano homer to back Sears in the Athletics' 8-5 victory over the Rockies
DENVER (AP) — Zack Gelof and Ramon Laureano homered, JP Sears won for the second time this season and the Oakland Athletics broke a three-game losing streak with an 8-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
Shea Langeliers had a double, a triple and scored twice, Laureano had two hits and scored twice and Tony Kemp had two doubles as the major league-worst A’s pounded out 14 hits. They were 3-13 in their previous 16 games.
“We followed the game plan,” A's manager Mark Kotsay said. “This park can get you out of the right approach, and from the onset we stayed through the middle, we stayed through the other side of the field, and you saw the results. We were able to add onto a lead, which we haven't been able to do. Overall it was a good night.
Oakland took a 7-2 lead into the eighth inning, but the Rockies closed to 7-5 on pinch-hitter Michael Toglia’s run-scoring single and Jurickson Profar’s two-run double. Lucas Erceg, Oakland’s third pitcher of the inning, got two groundouts to end the inning.
Laureano hit a 429-foot homer leading off the ninth.
Sears (2-7) gave up four hits including a homer to Randal Grichuk, struck out five and walked one in five innings while breaking a four-game losing streak. Sears has not missed a turn in the rotation this season, but his only other victory came against Milwaukee on June 11. A’s starting pitchers are 10-47 this season.
“It was good to get a big lead early, so I could go out and attack those guys,” Sears said. “It's an adjustment (pitching at Coors Field). You can't think too much about it. Some of the late movement on some of your pitches may not be there. Just knowing when to be a little more aggressive and a little less aggressive to guys.”
Gelof has 10 hits, seven for extra bases, since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on July 14. He has reached base in 10 of his 12 games.
“Competing against the best players in the word is pretty special,” Gelof said. “I want to do this for a long time. I love playing this game. I'm going to keep trying to have a blast out there and bring some energy.”
After Laureano singled in Rooker in the first inning, Langeliers tripled in the first run of a three-run second for a 4-0 lead. His was the only ball the A’s got out of the infield in a rally fueled on errors by third baseman Ryan McMahon and second baseman Alan Trejo, a hit batter and a fielder’s choice that did not result in an out.
Allen drove in Langeliers with Oakland’s only other hit in the second, a liner the caromed off Colorado left-hander Kyle Freeland (4-11), who was activated from the injury list before the game.
Langeliers doubled with two outs in the third inning and scored on Allen’s triple to make it 5-0.
Grichuk’s 445-foot homer in the fourth inning broke Sears’ shutout. Gelof’s 393-foot homer with two outs in the fifth made it 7-1.
Freeland gave up nine hits and five runs, three earned, in his first start since suffering a right shoulder injury when he dove for an popup in San Francisco on July 9. He struck out three and hit a batter.
“Kyle's stuff was good,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “We didn't help him.”
The Rockies have lost three in a row.
Rockies 1B CJ Cron returned from the injury listed Friday to face his father Chris, Oakland’s hitting coach, a career first. “It’s the greatest feeling in the world for a baseball dad,” said Chris, who spent 12 years as a player with two brief stops in the majors and has been a minor league coach or manager since retiring in 1995.
Cron was 1 for 5 with a single. Cron and Grichuk, who have expiring contracts, have been mentioned as possible trade candidates.
Athletics: OF Esteury Ruiz (shoulder) was 1 for 2 with a triple and a throwing error in five innings in his first rehab game at Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday. There is no timeline for his return. He leads the AL with 43 stolen bases. … RHP Mason Miller (UCL strain) threw a 20-pitch fastball/changeup bullpen Wednesday and is scheduled to throw another before beginning a rehab assignment.
Rockies: RHP Chase Anderson (shoulder inflammation) was placed on the IL retroactive to July 15 when Freehand was activated for his start Friday. RHP Tommy Doyle was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to replace RHP Riley Pint, who was optioned to Albuquerque on Wednesday. … RHP Tyler Kinley (elbow) has made four rehab appearances and could return during the homestand that ends Wednesday. … 2B Brendan Rodgers (left shoulder) homered for Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday and has made 33 plate appearances on a rehab assignment. The Rockies have set 40-50 as a benchmark before considering his return.
Rockies RHP Chris Flexen (0-4, 7.71 ERA) is to face A’s RHP Paul Blackburn (1-2, 5.06) in the second game of a three-game series. Flexen will make his first appearance for the Rockies after appearing in 17 games with Seattle this season.