Despite losing their most recent game, the Oakland Athletics have the best record in the majors over the last two weeks. They'll try to add to that against a team that's cooled off from its hot stretch.
The A's will look to earn their 12th win in 14 games Friday night while sending the Chicago White Sox to a fourth consecutive defeat.
Oakland (31-24) failed to sweep a four-game series against San Francisco on Thursday, falling 5-2 to snap a run of six consecutive wins. The A's managed five hits after batting .303 and scoring 36 runs in their previous five games.
"We're playing the game the right way and I guarantee you we'll be ready for the White Sox," third baseman Josh Donaldson said.
Oakland will try to bounce back by adding to a season-high, five-game home win streak and will next face a team that was dominated in its past three contests.
The White Sox (24-27) were outscored 24-6 in three games against the Cubs, the last two at Wrigley Field. The White Sox, who had won 10 of 14 before the series, lost 8-3 on Thursday.
"Anytime you have three games like this at any point it's discouraging," manager Robin Ventura said. "You know, again, you've got to regroup and go. ... We've shown that we can play a lot better than this and we're going to have to prove it again."
Bartolo Colon (5-2, 3.82 ERA) will try to add to Chicago's woes while building on one of his best starts of the season. The right-hander tossed seven scoreless innings and walked none for the seventh time in 10 outings in a 6-2 victory at Houston on Sunday.
Colon has a 1.29 ERA in winning his last two starts after going 0-2 with a 7.17 ERA in his previous four.
"He knows how to make a pitch when he needs to and I thought his stuff actually was as good today as we've seen all year," manager Bob Melvin said.
Colon went 0-2 with a 4.97 ERA in two starts against the White Sox last season but was solid in a 4-0 home loss April 23, 2012, giving up two runs over seven innings.
In this matchup, he'll pitch opposite Dylan Axelrod (3-3, 4.21), who has won three straight starts thanks in large part to some generous support. The right-hander has a 4.32 ERA during the win streak and has gotten 15 runs from his teammates.
He received a combined 16 runs in his first seven starts and went 0-3 with a 4.17 ERA.
Axelrod has never faced Oakland or any A's hitter.
One of those batters, Yoenis Cespedes , is riding a career-high 12-game hit streak. He was 6 for 23 (.261) with a homer as Oakland split six games with the White Sox last season.
The A's might get starting outfielder Josh Reddick back from a sprained right wrist Friday. Reddick, a career .109 hitter in 13 games against the White Sox, is batting .152 with one home run in 29 contests after hitting .242 with a career-high 32 homers in 2012.
Chicago right fielder Alex Rios is 9 for 22 (.409) against Colon and hitting .381 (16 for 42) in last 10 games versus Oakland.
|Alejandro De Aza||5||.200||1||0||0||3||2||.500||.900||.400|
|Chicago White Sox|
|May 22, 2013||Chris Sale||Day-to-Day||Left shoulder tendinitis|
|May 02, 2013||Dewayne Wise||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|May 02, 2013||Jake Peavy||Day-to-Day||Back spasms|
|April 28, 2013||Gavin Floyd||60-Day DL||Right elbow surgery - out for season|
|April 22, 2013||Hector Gimenez||Day-to-Day||Left shin|
|April 19, 2013||Dayan Viciedo||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|May 07, 2013||Josh Reddick||15-Day DL||Sprained right wrist|
|May 07, 2013||Josh Reddick||Day-to-Day||Sore right wrist|
|May 06, 2013||Jarrod Parker||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained neck|
|May 01, 2013||Brett Anderson||15-Day DL||Sprained right ankle|
|May 01, 2013||Brett Anderson||15-Day DL||Right foot stress fracture|
|April 30, 2013||Chris Young||15-Day DL||Strained left quad|
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Bartolo Colon watched Alex Rios ' foul pop fall into first baseman Brandon Moss ' mitt, looked back at his catcher and started the ceremonial high-five line that follows most victories.
Been there, done that.
At this point in Colon's career, no need for excessive celebration.
Colon tossed a five-hitter a week after turning 40, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Chicago White Sox 3-0 on Friday night in a game that took only 2 hours, 14 minutes.
"I feel proud to pitch the way that I did," Colon said in Spanish.
Colon (6-2) struck out and three and walked none for his 11th career shutout. He has 34 complete games, third-most among active pitchers behind Roy Halladay (67) and CC Sabathia (35).
He also became the first American League pitcher with a shutout after age 40 since Boston's Curt Schilling won 1-0 at Oakland on June 7, 2007, according to the A's.
"There's still a little something in the tank," said A's manager Bob Melvin , who never had a reliever throwing in the bullpen. "He's always out to prove that he can be a successful pitcher at the major league level and he can still pitch as a power pitcher, which he does. He'll never tell you that, but the reason that he's had the lengthy career that he's had is that he never lets down."
John Jaso was the first baserunner for either team to reach second when he doubled against Dylan Axelrod (3-4) leading off the eighth inning. Josh Reddick followed with an RBI double after coming off the disabled list before the game, and Coco Crisp added a two-run single to back Colon's stellar start.
Jaso said he realized Colon's control was especially on target when he kept calling for the one spot on the pitching report not to throw to slugger Adam Dunn - on the outer half of the plate - and it worked so well.
"It just showed the movement on his ball," Jaso said. "The guy's eyes would light up because that's his pitch to hit, then it moves off the plate, but he's already committed to it."
It was Colon's first nine-inning shutout since leading the Yankees past the A's 5-0 on May 30, 2011. He also pitched a rain-shortened three-hitter over seven innings against Boston on April 23.
Colon, who received a 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test last August and missed the playoffs for the AL West champions, looked as spry as ever on the mound in front of an announced crowd of 16,416 at the Oakland Coliseum.
While the A's struggled at the plate, Colon continued to pound the strike zone and challenge hitters. He threw 106 pitches - 77 for strikes - and hasn't walked a batter in eight of his 11 starts this season.
"He's a good one and it was fun," Axelrod said. "It seemed like both of us didn't have much rest on the benches. It was fun. He was out there for a few and then I was out there. I can't ask for anything more. It was just one of those things at the end there."
For a while, it appeared the A's might not give Colon any support.
Axelrod retired his first eight batters until Eric Sogard 's single to right. Then he set down the next 12 before Seth Smith 's two-out single in the seventh.
Axelrod and Colon each relied on their defense, too, for several spectacular plays.
Sogard backhanded a hard-hit grounder up the middle in the seventh and tossed the ball to shortstop Jed Lowrie , who fired it to first to complete a double play. Lowrie led off the top of the inning with a deep fly to right field, where Rios ran underneath the ball for a catch near the top of the wall.
Reddick showed off the defensive skills that won him a Gold Glove last year when he made a running basket catch near the foul line for the first out of the eighth. Then he followed with his first hit since coming back, easily the biggest of the night.
Axelrod, who had won his last three starts, was replaced by Matt Thornton following Reddick's double. Axelrod gave up four hits and struck out seven in seven-plus innings, walking slowly to the White Sox dugout afterward, sitting on the bench and putting his hands over his head.
All the 27-year-old could do was marvel at Colon.
"He's doing everything he did for us last year - throwing strikes and making contact where he can get outs," Reddick said. "Tonight it worked out really well for him."
NOTES: A's opening day starter Brett Anderson , on the DL since May 1 with a stress fracture in his right foot, played catch from one knee before the game. Anderson is still walking around in a boot. ... White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham made his second consecutive rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte. He went 1 for 5 and singled home the winning run in the ninth inning for a 3-2 win over Rochester. ... Dan Straily (3-2, 5.08 ERA) starts for the A's opposite White Sox lefty Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.75 ERA) in the middle game of the series Saturday.