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Gelof, Rooker homer in five-run second inning as A's go on to win over Rockies

Oakland Athletics Zack Gelof - The Canadian Press

DENVER (AP) — Zack Gelof and Brent Rooker each homered in a five-run second inning that helped carry the Oakland Athletics to an 11-3 victory over Colorado on Saturday night, handing the Rockies their fourth straight loss and fifth in six games.

Rooker finished with three RBIs, two from his 17th home run of the season and a sacrifice fly. Ramón Laureano’s two-run double highlighted Oakland’s four-run sixth inning and Seth Brown had three hits and a pair of RBIs as the A's ended the night one run shy of their season high.

“The guys came into Colorado knowing how the ball flies but not trying to do too much, just kind of staying within their approach and putting simple swings, simple approaches together and having good quality team at bats and passing it on to the next guy,” Rooker said. “That’s shown with the hits and runs we've put up the last two days.”

Randal Grichuk had three hits for the Rockies, including a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning off Tayler Scott.

Paul Blackburn (2-2) allowed two runs and nine hits in a 106-pitch, six-inning outing for Oakland. He struck out seven and walked none.

“Tonight, we moved the ball well, used every pitch in every count,” Blackburn said. “I felt like we kind of kept them off balance all night and created a lot of soft contact.”

Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said he thought Blackburn’s outing was his best of the season and noted that he did not allow a walk and neither did the three relievers who came after him.

“Free bases have been killing us all year and to come to this ballpark, where it’s really vital not to give up free bases, we did a great job of throwing strikes and playing good defense behind them,” Kotsay said.

The Rockies trailed 6-0 before putting up their first run on Michael Toglia’s RBI single in the second inning. They added a second run on C.J. Cron’s slow roller down the third base line that scored Ryan McMahon from third in the third inning.

But Oakland added four runs in the in the sixth and another in the seventh.

Gelof, who reached on a passed ball third strike in the first before scoring on Seth Brown’s sacrifice fly, homered for the second time in two games on a 2-0 offering from Chris Flexen, making his Rockies debut after having his contract selected from Triple A Albuquerque earlier in the day. JJ Bleday was hit by a pitch ahead of Rooker’s drive over the center-field wall.

Flexen (0-5) went 3 2/3 innings and gave up six runs on on four hits. He issued six of the eight walks on the night by Rockies pitchers.

“Six walks are not how you draw it up and he'd be the first to tell you,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He's been around long enough to know that six walks will come back to get you. His stuff was fine. It looked to me like he just couldn't get comfortable throughout the outing.”


Athletics: CF Esteury Ruiz went 1 for 2 with a triple and a run scored Friday in his first game at Triple-A Las Vegas as part of a rehab assignment. Ruiz, who is on the 10-day injured list, has been sidelined since suffering a right shoulder subluxation diving back to first after a pickoff attempt on July 5 at Detroit. Ruiz was off Saturday but was expected to play another rehab game Sunday for Las Vegas, most likely as a DH, according to Athletics manager Mark Kotsay.

Rockies: OF-DH Charlie Blackmon took part in a pregame batting practice session at Coors Field on Saturday, his first time back on the field since suffering a right hand fracture that landed him on the 10-day injured on June 10. “I think I’m right on track, maybe a little ahead of schedule,” Blackmon said. “It felt good to get out from the dungeon of the batting cage and get out of the training room. Felt good to get outside and hit some balls on the field.” Blackmon anticipates heading out on a rehab assignment in the coming days.


RHP Luis Medina (3-7, 5.50 ERA) is slated to start Sunday’s series finale for the Athletics. Colorado counters with Ty Blach (0-0, 5.51 ERA), who is making his second start of the season as part of an anticipated bullpen game for the Rockies staff.