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Colon takes shutout into eighth

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Angels fans booed Bartolo Colon the last
few weeks. This time, he left the mound to a standing ovation.

Colon took a shutout into the eighth inning, five of his
teammates drove in runs against Tim Hudson, and Anaheim beat
Oakland 6-1 Tuesday night for its fifth straight victory over the
Athletics.

"I was disappointed that I wasn't able to provide this kind of
pitching on a consistent basis," Colon said though a translator.
"But I just kept saying to myself that I've got to stay healthy
and keep working hard because eventually I was going to be able to
get back on track. And tonight was a sign of that."

Colon (5-6) allowed a run and five hits in 7 2-3 innings. He
struck out six, walked none and displayed the form that persuaded
the Angels to give the 30-year-old free agent a $51 million,
four-year contract last December.

"Mechanically, I feel sound," he said. "The main thing was
going back to my No. 1 pitch, which is my fastball. I've been able
to establish that early and I've been able to keep the velocity up
throughout the game. And because of that, the changeup and the
curveball were much more efficient tonight."

Colon, 0-4 with an 8.08 ERA in his previous seven starts, won
for the first time since beating Tampa Bay 7-2 on May 8. The
right-hander retired his first 11 batters -- including seven in a
row on flyballs.

"When his fastball is working, he's able to move it around and
elevate it, so there's a chance to get some flyballs," Angels
manager Mike Scioscia said. "He made the pitches, and they
cooperated early on."

Colon lost his shutout bid on his 116th and final pitch, when
Eric Byrnes singled home Bobby Crosby with two outs in the eighth.
Brendan Donnelly got the last four outs, finishing the five-hitter.

The win, coupled with Texas' 10-2 triumph over Seattle, left the
Angels a half-game behind the Rangers in the AL West and dropped
Oakland a game off the pace. The Athletics, out of first place for
the first time since June 8, have lost seven of eight following an
eight-game winning streak.

Hudson (7-3) allowed five runs -- four earned -- and seven hits in
five innings after entering with an AL-best 2.78 ERA. It was only
the second time in the right-hander's last nine starts that he gave
up more than two earned runs.

Hudson was called for a rare balk by third base umpire Ed
Montague in the third after David Eckstein's leadoff infield
single, sparking a three-run inning by the Angels. The six-year
veteran, who hadn't committed a balk since 2002, has been called
for only three in 171 major league starts.

"He said that I was stopping two times -- but I've been doing
that my whole career," Hudson said. "It's kind of funny how now,
all of a sudden, it's a balk. I guess, technically it is. But if
they're going to call it, they should have called it a long time
ago."

Chone Figgins drove Hudson's next pitch to right-center for his
major league-leading 11th triple and scored on Vladimir Guerrero's
double to left-center. Darin Erstad capped the rally with an RBI
single, extending Anaheim's lead to 4-0.

"The balk obviously got the inning going for those guys, and I
just didn't make very good pitches after that," Hudson said.

Oakland center fielder Mark Kotsay committed a three-base error
in the fifth when he tried to one-hand Adam Kennedy's flyball on
the warning track. Kennedy scored on Eckstein's suicide squeeze.

"Sosh just had a feeling that it might be a good time to do
it," Eckstein said. "With me at bat and somebody at third with
less than two outs, there's always the possibility. It's just a
matter of making sure we picked the right pitch."

Guerrero's sacrifice fly in the seventh increased his RBI total
to 65, leaving him tied with Boston's David Ortiz for the AL lead.

Garret Anderson led off the Anaheim second with a single,
advanced to third on a pair of groundouts and scored the Angels'
first run on a single by designated hitter Tim Salmon.

Game notes
Colon set down 18 of his first 19 batters. ... Kotsay's
two-out single in the fourth was his first hit in 10 career at-bats
against Colon. ... Hudson, who entered averaging the fewest pitches
per inning in the AL (14.3), threw 27 in the third. ... Hudson was
13-5 in his previous 21 starts against the Angels. He faced them
for the first time since April 16 at Anaheim, when he pitched 7 1-3
innings in a 3-0 win over Colon. ... Angels RHP Aaron Sele became a
father for the third time Tuesday -- all daughters.