ANAHEIM -- No doubt the A's needed their own version of a slump-buster. And the Los Angeles Angels provided it with sloppy defense to the tune of three errors.
The A's obliged with nine hits and avoided the sweep with a 6-0 victory Sunday, collecting almost as many hits in one game -- nine -- as they did in the first two games of the series combined -- 10. Four of the A's runs were earned.
And Bartolo Colon was again the stopper, throwing a four-hit shutout, the 12th shutout of his career, his third of the season. It was the fifth straight time Colon followed an A's loss with a win, the sixth time this season.
The A's (57-41) took a 2 1/2-game lead over Texas, which was to play host to Baltimore Sunday night, while the Angels fell 10 games back in the American League West.
Starting pitching report
This used to be his playground, so why wouldn't Colon, who won the 2005 American League Cy Young Award while pitching for the Halos, feel at home here in Angel Stadium? The only Angels batter to get a hit off him through eight innings was No. 8 hitter Chris Iannetta, who had a pair of singles. J.B. Schuck and Mike Trout had one-out singles in the ninth. Colon improved to 13-3 and lowered his ERA to 2.52, allowing the four hits while striking out five and walking one. The 40-year-old right-hander threw a season-high 116 pitches, 75 strikes. It was the 10th time in his last 12 starts Colon went at least seven innings.
Jesse Chavez and Ryan Cook warmed up in the top of the ninth.
At the plate
Eric Sogard hit a two-run home run to give the A's their first lead of the season's unofficial second half. It was his second of the season, second since July 7. Brandon Moss had a three-hit day, all singles to left field. They were the only A's with multiple hits. The A's No.s 2, 3 and 4 hitters, Seth Smith, Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson were a combined 0-for-13 with three strikeouts.
In the field
It wasn't the prettiest of plays, but it worked. Josh Reddick robbed Mike Trout of extra bases in the fourth inning when he tracked Trout's drive to right field, never took his eyes off the ball, leapt and caught the ball in the webbing of his glove two steps before running into the wall. Yeah, Reddick won a Gold Glove last year. Chris Young had a leaping grab at the wall in the seventh, possibly robbing Albert Pujols of a solo homer.
The Angels announced a crowd of 37,441, the first time in the series they did not have a sellout. Then again, there was not postgame fireworks or a Billy Currington postgame concert on this day.
Tweet o' da game
u can cut & paste all your past McFadden injury stories and replace Cespedes' name! -- @DJ_InTheMix
Tommy Milone (8-8, 4.24 ERA) will pitch for the first time since July 10, at Pittsburgh. The left-hander has faced Houston three times in his career, going 1-0 with a 4.66 ERA against the Astros. Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (4-5, 4.62) will start for Houston. He has faced the A's three times in his career, all this season, and is 0-1 with a 5.25 ERA, including one start, in which he gave up six runs in six innings on May 26.