Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics at Pittsburgh Pirates Live Blog: Instant Analysis and Reaction

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 08:  Bartolo Colon #40 of the Oakland Athletics pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on July 8, 2013 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Benjy EgelCorrespondent IIJuly 8, 2013

Final: Athletics 2, Pirates 1

Two of baseball's most unlikely aces squared off Monday as Oakland's Bartolo Colon bested Pittsburgh's Jeff Locke.

Colon and Locke were each named All-Stars on Saturday, and proved their worth on Monday. Colon gave up just one run over seven innings and handed Locke his first loss since April 10.

Coco Crisp made a game-saving catch in the seventh to rob Andrew McCutchen of extra bases. Ryan Cook and Grant Balfour each threw scoreless innings, allowing Balfour to break Dennis Eckersley's club record of 40 consecutive saves.

Both teams are locked in tight divisional races. Texas is half a game behind the A's in the AL West, and the Pirates are a game and a half behind the eternally competitive Cardinals in the NL Central.

Grant Green, Oakland's 2009 first-round draft pick, made his Major League debut at second base and batted eighth. Green went 0-3 with two strikeouts, but made a couple nice plays in the field.

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