Colon wins 21st, makes last pitch for Cy Young

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Bartolo Colon made a final pitch for the
AL Cy Young Award.

Colon became the Angels' winningest pitcher since Nolan Ryan in
1974, leading Los Angeles over the Oakland Athletics 7-1 on

"I don't see much debate," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
"I think he's absolutely the Cy Young Award winner. For what he's
done for this team, getting us into the playoffs and being the top
dog, it's clear to me."

Colon (21-8) gave up one run and five hits in five innings,
throwing 80 pitches. He pitched on three days' rest to get on
schedule for starting Los Angeles' playoff opener Tuesday.

"This was exactly what I was looking for," Colon said. "It
was good to come out of it nice. Working on three days' rest, I put
more emphasis on finishing well."

Colon and Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera are viewed as the top
contenders for the Cy Young.

I'm not going to add or subtract to my numbers any more so
there's nothing I can do about it," Colon said. "It will be
welcome and a privilege, and I needed a good team behind me just to
be a candidate."

After giving up six runs and 10 hits in five innings against
Tampa Bay on Sunday, Colon allowed only one runner past second
base. He has the most wins for the Angels since Ryan went 22-16 in
1974, but his ERA is 3.48 and he's allowed 26 home runs, including
seven in his last three starts.

Colon is 11-2 following Angels losses. He lost consecutive
decisions just once, against Seattle and Minnesota on July 7 and

"There are a lot of good pitchers out there, but Bartolo put
together a great year," Angels reliever Kevin Gregg said. "He's
been consistent and given us a huge lift. He's kept us on the right

Jose Molina homered and drove in three runs, and Robb Quinlan
also homered for the AL West champions.

The Angels won their 18th game in September, matching the club
record set en route to the 2002 World Series title.

Nick Swisher homered for the A's, who lost three of four in the
series and four of five overall.

Barry Zito (14-13) gave up six runs and eight hits in seven
innings and hit his 13th batter, matching the Oakland record he set
in 2001. Zito's 36 losses over the past three years are the most by
an A's pitcher since Rick Langford and Brian Kingman each lost 38
from 1980-82.

"I had a terrible September," Zito said. "This was a terrible
note to end on. I do want to focus on the good things. This year
was a test for me, becoming the elder statesman of the staff."

Zito dropped to 3-5 with a 5.50 ERA over his past two
Septembers, a stark contrast to his 16-2 record and 2.20 ERA during
his first four Septembers. He finished the season with an AL-high
3,805 pitches.

"He had a great season," A's manager Ken Macha said. "He had
to make some adjustments to make himself better and he should feel
good going into next season because of the way he came back from
that 1-6 start."

Chone Figgins walked leading off for the Angels and scored on
Juan Rivera's groundout to the pitcher.

Quinlan led off the second with his fifth homer, a drive that
bounced off the cement facade in left field. After Casey Kotchman
walked, Molina homered for a 4-0 lead.

Bengie Molina hit a run-scoring double-play grounder in the
third. Swisher homered in the fourth, but Jose Molina had an RBI
single in the sixth. Figgins added a run-scoring double in the

Game notes
A's SS Bobby Crosby missed his second straight game with a
sore left ankle. ... Angels OFs Garret Anderson and Vladimir
Guerrero also were given their second straight day off. ... The
Angels changed their rotation for the series in Texas, moving RHP
John Lackey up a day to start Friday. LHP Jarrod Washburn will
start Saturday. ... The Angels won the season series from the A's
10-9. ... Jeff Mathis singled off Keiichi Yabu in the eighth for
his first major league hit. ... Colon improved to 4-1 in Oakland.
... Swisher's 21st home run ties him with Mitchell Page (1977) for
fifth most by an Oakland rookie.