Chris Sabo and Eric Davis are gone from the game but the Reds brushed off a tough series against the St. Louis Cardinals and completed a short, two-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 6-5 win.
Jay Bruce, who was three-years old when the Reds won its last World Championship, hit a two-run homer and threw out a runner at the plate, helping the Cincinnati Reds beat Bartolo Colon and the Oakland Athletics 6-5 on Wednesday.
"I always expect them (baserunners) to go," Bruce said of his throw to the plate. "When you don't that's when you get caught off guard and look like an idiot."
Corky Miller added two run-scoring doubles for Cincinnati, which won consecutive games for the first time since July 24 in San Francisco and July 25 in Los Angeles. Bruce also had a run-scoring grounder in the first.
AL West-leading Oakland, which began the day with a one-game advantage over Texas, scored as many runs as it had in its previous three games, but still lost for the sixth time in seven games.
Colon (14-4) was knocked out in the third inning in his shortest outing of the season. The All-Star right-hander had made 15 consecutive starts of at least six innings and three or fewer earned runs.
Miller's first run-scoring double gave Cincinnati a 2-1 lead in the second inning. The Reds added three more in the third, with Bruce going deep for the second straight game and Miller driving in Zack Cozart for the second time on the day.
Colon allowed five runs and seven hits in 2 2-3 innings. He was 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA in his previous five starts, including a four-hitter in a 6-0 victory at the Los Angeles Angels on July 21.
Homer Bailey (7-10) won his second straight start despite allowing nine hits and five runs in 5 1-3 innings.
"They put the bat on the ball pretty well," Bailey said. "You saw it last night with Mat (Latos). He didn't get a lot of strikeouts. When you put it into play, things happen."
Bailey left with a runner on third, but Manny Parra wriggled out of the jam. Parra, Sam LeCure and J.J. Hoover combined for 2 2-3 innings of two-hit ball before Aroldis Chapman tossed a perfect ninth for his 27th save in 31 opportunities.
"Parra has been a savior," said Dusty Baker. "We've been fortunate to get players at a low point in their career and get them back on top."
Josh Donaldson and Eric Sogard had two hits and two RBIs apiece for Oakland, which finished with 11 hits. Donaldson hit a solo drive in the second for his 17th homer.
Stephen Vogt singled in a run in the fourth for the A's, but Bruce made a perfect throw to cut down Alberto Callaspo trying to score from second on the base hit to right. Oakland also had Sogard retired in a rundown off third in the sixth.
Bruce jumped on the first pitch he saw in the third, sending a long drive into the netting above the visitor's bullpen down the right-field line. The one-out shot came with Joey Votto aboard after a leadoff single.
It was Bruce's team-leading 24th homer. He also is second on the Reds to Brandon Phillips with 78 RBIs.
Corky Miller's sons don't get to see him play much in the majors. They made up for a lot of lost time on Wednesday.
The journeyman catcher, making a rare appearance for the Cincinnati Reds, drove in two runs with a pair of doubles and cut off a key run at the plate, helping the Reds beat Bartolo Colon and the Athletics 6-5.
"They don't get to see me play a lot in the majors," said Miller, who's spent most of his season with Triple-A Louisville and is with the Reds while Ryan Hanigan nurses a wrist injury. "Maybe if I'm (with the Reds) and we play in Chicago. It was fun lookin up (in the stands) and seeing them."
"His sons got to see him," said Reds manager Dusty Baker, referring to Caden, 8, and Chase, 5, who live in New Lenox, Ill., and were in town for the Reds' Family Game. "That was good. I tell my son (Darren, 14) that I played in the majors, but he only sees me in black-and-white."
Colon was traded for Brandon Phillips in 2002. The Cleveland Indians sent Colon to Montreal to obtain Phillips, Cliff Lee and Grady Sizemore.
NOTES: Sogard extended his hitting streak to 13 games. ... Miller bruised his right quad in the collision with Callaspo, forcing him from the game. ... The Reds activated RHP Jonathan Broxton from the 15-day disabled list and optioned RHP Pedro Villareal to Triple-A Louisville. Broxton had been on the DL since June 15 with a strained right elbow. ... Oakland LHP Brett Anderson, out since May 1 with a sprained right ankle, is expected to pitch a simulated game Saturday. He threw 31 pitches with Single-A Stockton on Tuesday. ... Melvin planned on Tuesday to have Derek Norris start at catcher on Wednesday, but days off on Monday and Thursday prompted him to stick with his usual lineup against right-handed starters, which includes Vogt at catcher. ... Reds 3B Todd Frazier batter second for the first time in his career. He went 0 for 3 with a walk and was hit by a pitch while extending his career-worst slide to 0 for 31. It's the longest hitless slump by a Reds position player since Drew Stubbs was 0 for 32 in 2012.