Looking to win a fourth straight start, Colon tries to help the visiting A's to a series victory over All-Star Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
Colon (9-8, 3.38 ERA) ran his career-high scoreless streak to 22 1/3 innings before he allowed an unearned run in the seventh inning of a 10-4 victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday. The right-hander has not yielded an earned run since the fourth inning of a 5-4, 11-inning win over New York on July 22.
The 39-year-old Colon last won four straight starts May 30-July 2, 2011, with the Yankees.
"The name of the game is throwing strikes," teammate Jonny Gomes told the Athletics' official website. "He's been doing it forever. He knows what he's doing. He knows these hitters. He's a lot of fun to play behind."
Colon has certainly enjoyed himself in his first year with Oakland (61-52), contending for its first postseason berth since 2006. The A's scored twice in the eighth inning to rally for a 9-7 win at Chicago on Saturday.
"He really enjoys the game - especially on game day," manager Bob Melvin told the Athletics' official website.
Colon, who pitched for the White Sox in 2003 and 2009, is 10-7 with a 3.89 ERA in 21 starts against them. He allowed solo homers to Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko in seven innings of a 4-0 home loss to Chicago on April 23.
This will be his first appearance since 2009 at U.S. Cellular Field, where Sale (13-3, 2.59) has allowed five runs and struck out 39 over 47 1-3 innings while going 5-0 in six starts since losing to Kansas City there May 12. The left-hander's latest home win came Monday, when he gave up two homers in eight innings of a 4-2 home victory over the Royals.
Sale's last start was his first since July 27, as the club wants to keep the first-year starter fresh for the stretch run and possibly the postseason."It gives you a little bit more time to recover and catch your breath, but you've still got a couple of months left," he said. "You've just got to keep going with it."
Sale is 1-0 with a 4.36 ERA in six appearances against the A's. He allowed two runs in eight innings of a 5-4, 14-inning loss April 25 in his only previous start versus Oakland.
Chicago (61-51) overcame a 6-2 deficit Saturday to take a 7-6 lead in the seventh before Gomes tied it with a homer and Brandon Inge later followed with a tiebreaking single in the eighth."I guess it just shows two teams that don't want to give up. I like that," said Inge, who hopes to play Sunday after he injured his shoulder making a diving stop at third base.
A.J. Pierzynski, who added two hits with an RBI, is batting .378 with six home runs and 15 RBIs in his last 10 games. However, he's hit .184 (7 for 38) with one homer versus Colon.
Gomes, who has homered in each of his last two games, is 6 for 17 in his last four overall.
|Alejandro De Aza||3||.333||1||0||0||1||1||.500||1.167||.667|
|August 07, 2012||Eric Sogard||15-Day DL||Strained back|
|August 05, 2012||A.J. Griffin||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|August 04, 2012||A.J. Griffin||Day-to-Day||Sore right shoulder|
|August 03, 2012||Yoenis Cespedes||Day-to-Day||Left game - sprained right wrist|
|August 03, 2012||Seth Smith||15-Day DL||Left hamstring strain|
|July 28, 2012||Coco Crisp||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left hamstring tightness|
|Chicago White Sox|
|August 08, 2012||Paul Konerko||7-Day DL||Mild concussion|
|August 08, 2012||Alex Rios||Day-to-Day||Stiff back|
|August 08, 2012||Paul Konerko||Day-to-Day||Mild concussion|
|August 07, 2012||Kevin Youkilis||Day-to-Day||Sore right knee|
|August 06, 2012||Alejandro De Aza||Day-to-Day||Back stiffness|
|August 05, 2012||Francisco Liriano||Day-to-Day||Bruised left quadriceps|
CHICAGO (AP) -- Chris Sale got into trouble in the fifth inning, allowing back-to-back, two-out singles against the Oakland Athletics . Then the Chicago White Sox left-hander escaped the jam with his 10th strikeout.
Sale struck out 11 in 6 2-3 innings, A.J. Pierzynski had a two-run home run in a five-run sixth inning, and the White Sox beat the A's 7-3 on Sunday.
Sale (14-3) reached double digits in strikeouts for the third time this season. He had 10 strikeouts through the first five innings, allowed two runs on solo homers, and walked none.
The White Sox lead the Detroit Tigers by two games in the AL Central.
"He was throwing a little harder today than he has in the past few outings," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "He was able to dial it up whenever he needed it and still was sharp with his slider, too."
Oakland starter Bartolo Colon (9-9) allowed six runs - five earned - and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out two and walked two. With the game tied 1-1 in the sixth, Pierzynski's 23rd homer put the White Sox up 3-1.
Dewayne Wise , in his first start with Chicago this season, added an RBI single. After A's left fielder Yoenis Cespedes committed an error, and Colon issued an intentional walk, Gordon Beckham delivered a bases-loaded, two-run single to make it 6-1.
The A's struggled defensively, making three errors and failing to cover home in the seventh when the White Sox added their final run.
Pierzynski scored from first on Alexei Ramirez 's groundout to shortstop as third baseman Adam Rosales and shortstop Cliff Pennington bumped on the play. No one covered home plate.
"They're going to give you something, you're going to go ahead and take it," Ventura said. "A.J. is heads up and he kept going. There was nobody there. Usually guys rotate around."
Sale allowed home runs to Rosales, his second of the year, and Jonny Gomes , who added his 14th. Gomes has homered in three straight games. Derek Norris homered off Addison Reed in the ninth.
Sale improved to 7-2 with a 1.80 ERA at U.S. Cellular Field this season.
"One thing he does great, he changes speeds tremendously," Pierzynski said. "One can be 95 (mph) and the next can get be 86. That's why he gets a lot of groundballs. That's why he gets a lot of popups because guys are constantly off balance because of his stuff and his ability to change speeds."
Chicago took a 1-0 lead on Adam Dunn 's sacrifice fly in the third. The A's hit back-to-back, two-out singles in the fifth, but Sale escaped the jam with his 10th strikeout.
Sale was checked in the fifth inning after he twisted his left knee slipping on the infield grass while trying to field an infield single.
After warmup tosses, he remained in the game.
"Everything was fine," Sale said. "It was just something crazy, foot went one way, knee went the other. Kind of nervous at first, and once I got around and moving on it, everything was fine."
Pennington made two errors, but also had two singles against Sale.
"It wasn't our best defensive day," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "The play was embarrassing, obviously, when Pierzynski went all the way around. (Catcher Norris is) trying to cover third when the third baseman and shortstop converge.
"You either have to read that and get back or the pitcher has to rotate around and get home. We didn't cover that very well, so that doesn't sit very well with anybody."
Notes: White Sox 1B Paul Konerko will undergo a concussion-related test on Monday. If the results are encouraging, the 36-year-old player can resume baseball activities Tuesday and be activated from the 7-day disabled list as early as Friday. . White Sox 3B Kevin Youkilis (left arm, right knee) was out of the lineup and is day-to-day. He was hit by a pitch in the arm on Saturday. "It's not a fracture or anything, but it's swollen and it doesn't feel too good," Ventura said. . The White Sox optioned OF Jordan Danks to Triple-A Charlotte and will make a corresponding roster move on Monday. Ventura said the team will add a reliever. . A's 3B Brandon Inge will fly to Oakland to have an MRI on his dislocated right shoulder. He was out of the lineup Sunday after he was injured on a diving play Saturday. Inge, who said he felt sore, hopes to return to the lineup Tuesday after Monday's off day. . The A's switched their Wednesday and Thursday probable starters against Kansas City, scheduling Brandon McCarthy for Wednesday and Dan Straily for Thursday. McCarthy (shoulder) returned from the disabled list on Friday.