The A's were living large in the first inning Friday night, seemingly poised for a runaway victory in front of a rare sellout crowd at the Coliseum.
A few hours later, they were left to digest a 5-4 loss to the Giants that went haywire in more ways than one.
The box score will show rookie closer Ryan Cook, all but untouchable up until Friday, coughed up a two-run ninth-inning lead and spoiled a well-deserved victory for starting pitcher Jarrod Parker. That's true, along with the fact that fellow rookie Sean Doolittle allowed two go-ahead runs to score in relief of Cook (2-2).
But the A's will also look back on a first inning in which they scored three runs off Giants starter Tim Lincecum but couldn't knock the struggling two-time N.L. Cy Young Award winner from the game.
"When you score three runs, the way it ended up, it was almost a momentum shift for him to get out of it with only three," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Would you take three runs in the first inning? Obviously. But then having the bases loaded and only getting three, it deflates you a little."
Coco Crisp, Jemile Weeks and Josh Reddick led off the bottom of the first with singles, and the A's took advantage of a botched Giants defensive play and a bases-loaded walk issued by Lincecum to take a 3-0 lead.
But with the bases full and still no outs, Brandon Moss, Kurt Suzuki and Cliff Pennington went down swinging to strand three runners.
Parker, pitching on seven days' rest, was terrific over six innings. He allowed just one run and four hits.
That wiped out bitter memories of his first start of the season against the Giants, when he walked four and allowed six runs over two innings at AT&T Park.
The right-hander has a 1.97 ERA over his past five starts.
The A's led 3-1 entering the ninth, but Cook's wildness hurt him as he tried to convert the save.
He walked Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval to open the inning -- his 18 walks entering the night were tied for second most among American League relievers.
"I just didn't have anything," Cook said. "That's been my hex all year, putting guys on. It came back to bite me tonight."
With two aboard, Brandon Belt lofted an opposite-field fly ball toward the left-field line. Collin Cowgill made a diving attempt, but the ball got past him and rolled to the fence for a two-run, game-tying double.
Cowgill rolled an ankle on the play and left the game later in the inning.
It marked just the second time Cook had allowed a run in his 31 appearances.
Justin Christian singled to put runners on the corners, and A's manager Bob Melvin replaced Cook with Doolittle.
Hector Sanchez delivered a go-ahead single to left, and Gregor Blanco added an RBI single for a 5-3 Giants lead.
That proved important, as Josh Reddick homered off Giants closer Santiago Casilla to pull the A's to within 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth. But Yoenis Cespedes and Jonny Gomes struck out to end it.
Colon played catch Thursday, and Melvin expressed optimism that the right-hander won't miss extended time.
"Colon's coming along pretty nicely," Melvin said. "Whether we get him back before the All-Star break, we certainly think there's a chance at that."
The A's can backdate Colon's D.L. stint to June 18, but he still will miss a minimum of two starts.
Ross made a spot start last Saturday against San Diego as a fill-in for Brandon McCarthy.
Melvin said he didn't have an extended plan for how he would divide playing time between Norris and Suzuki.
"We'll continue to look at what we're going to do based on each and every series," Melvin said. "I haven't looked further than this series at this point."
Since Norris was drafted in the fourth round by the Washington Nationals in 2007 out of Goddard High (Kan.), he has advanced one level through the farm system each season. The 23-year-old was in his first season with Triple-A Sacramento when the A's promoted him Thursday.
"He's really improved as a receiver every year," said Grady Fuson, a special assistant to A's general manager Billy Beane. "Not a lot of guys go boom, boom, boom, boom (through the farm system) at that position. He's got a nice package of skills. There's really not much in his game he doesn't have."
Giants' Madison Bumgarner (8-4, 2.92) vs. A's Tyson Ross (2-6, 6.11), 4:15 p.m. FOX
One bad inning is all it takes
For Tim Lincecum, above, it's usually been one inning that has spelled disaster for the struggling right-hander:
Date Inning R H HR BB Dec.
5/4 vs. Mil 1st 3 1 0 2 ND
5/9 at LAD 4th 4 4 0 1 L
5/15 vs. Col 6th 2 2 0 2 ND
5/20 vs. Oak 4th 4 4 0 2 L
5/25 at Mia 6th 5 4 1 1 L
5/30 vs. Ariz 6th 1 1 1 0 L
6/5 at SD 2nd 4 4 1 1 ND
6/10 vs. Tex 4th 2 4 0 1 L
6/16 at Sea 1st 2 2 2 0 L
6/22 at Oak 1st 3 3 0 2 ND
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