Betting on Bartolo pays off for BoSox
By: By The Associated Press
Bartolo Colon felt like he did 11 years ago on the mound at Fenway Park. He won a big start there just like he did in 1997.
Making his first start since elbow problems ended his season last September, the burly right-hander allowed two runs and six hits in five innings, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 6-3 on Wednesday night.
Colon’s first of 147 major league victories came on that same mound in 1997 when he beat the Red Sox for Cleveland.
“I thought about that tonight after the game and reminisced about that great moment and kind of compared this to that moment,” Colon, who signed a minor league contract with Boston on Feb. 25, said through a translator.
Even though his 35th birthday is just days away, Colon felt like a kid in the 307th start of a career that includes a Cy Young award.
“I was very nervous in the first inning,” Colon said. “I felt like my first professional outing, actually. But after the first inning I was able to settle down and really enjoy the moment.”
In other AL games on Wednesday, it was: New York 8, Baltimore 0; Los Angeles 4, Toronto 3; Texas 10, Minnesota 1; Chicago 7, Cleveland 2; Oakland 9, Tampa Bay 1; and Detroit 9, Seattle 4.
Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits, including a leadoff homer in the first, for Boston, which won its sixth straight overall and ninth in a row at home, while Dustin Pedroia had three hits and Jason Varitek added a homer.
“He throws hard. It’s Colon,” said Kansas City’s Joey Gathright, who had two hits and walked twice. “He’s still got good stuff.”
Colon (1-0) threw 74 pitches, 46 for strikes, after being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket, where he made three rehab starts in his comeback from two injury-plagued seasons that followed the best year of his career.
He was 7-13 with a 5.72 ERA in 29 games the past two seasons and lost his last six decisions last year after his last victory on June 14. In 2005, he went 21-8 with a 3.48 ERA, winning the Cy Young with the Angels and pitching more than 200 innings for the third straight year.
“The big man had a huge smile on his face when we all got in” the clubhouse, Varitek said. “I mean, this is pretty big for him to be able to make his way back.”
It was Colon’s first major league game since Sept. 29, when he pitched one scoreless inning in relief for Los Angeles. He had been on the disabled list from July 24 to Sept. 9 with irritation in his right elbow.
He became a free agent after the season and the Red Sox took a chance on him with a low-risk deal that could lead to a high reward. The deal is worth $1.2 million plus performance and roster bonuses.
“He located his fastball pretty good for his first start,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said.
Trailing 2-1, Boston scored four runs in the fifth off Brett Tomko (2-5).
Yankees 8, Orioles 0
Alex Rodriguez hit two balls over the fence but was credited with only one home run as New York snapped a four-game losing streak.
Darrell Rasner (3-0) won his third straight start since he was called up from the minors, allowing five hits in a career-high seven innings.
Rodriguez returned from the disabled list Tuesday night and homered in a 12-2 loss. In his second game he finished with a home run and two doubles. The three-time MVP homered off Garrett Olson (3-1) to start the third, then hit another ball over the wall in the sixth that was incorrectly called an RBI double.
It was the latest in a string of home run calls that have been blown by big league umpires, including one at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night.
Angels 4, Blue Jays 3
Vladimir Guerrero hit two home runs and drove in four runs to back Jon Garland, who remained unbeaten in Toronto. Garland (5-3), who has lost once in his past seven starts, gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings. The right-hander is 6-0 with a 4.47 ERA in 10 games at Rogers Centre and is 10-2 overall in 14 career starts against the Blue Jays. Francisco Rodriguez closed it out in the ninth for his major league-leading 19th save.
Shaun Marcum (4-3) allowed four runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings, losing for the first time since April 26.
Rangers 10, Twins 1
Sidney Ponson (3-0) allowed six hits, walked one and struck out five in his first complete game since April 2005 when he was with Baltimore. He was released by the Twins one day less than a year ago.
Michael Young led off the sixth against Nick Blackburn (4-3) with a homer to break a 0-0 tie and Ian Kinsler added a three-run shot in the innings. The finished with 17 hits against Blackburn and two relievers.
White Sox 7, Indians 2
Jermaine Dye hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth inning and added a solo shot in the seventh as Chicago won its seventh straight. Javier Vazquez (5-3) struck out seven in seven innings and allowed two runs and four hits.
Michael Aubrey homered for the Indians, who have lost a season-high five straight games. Paul Byrd (2-4) allowed five runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Athletics 9, Rays 1
Dana Eveland (4-3) pitched a three-hitter for his first career complete game and Jack Cust homered twice for Oakland, which avoided being swept at home by Tampa Bay Rays for the first time.
Andy Sonnanstine (6-2) struck out a season-high six but had his five-game winning streak ended and lost on the road for the first time this season after starting 4-0.
Tigers 9 Mariners 4
Marcus Thames hit a grand slam to highlight Detroit’s seven-run third inning that started with five straight singles off Jarrod Washburn (2-6), who allowed nine runs and 12 hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Kenny Rogers (4-4) allowed four runs, including solo homers by Richie Sexson and Yuniesky Betancourt in 5 1/3 innings.
The Mariners are an AL-worst 7-16 on the road.