Nobody, not even Bartolo Colon himself, imagined that he'd be enjoying one of his best seasons in 2013.
The Oakland Athletics are glad the 40-year-old has turned back the clock, and they'd be happier still if he can stick around the rest of the season.
Colon will try to match the major league lead with a 15th victory Wednesday when the AL West-leading A's conclude their series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
After serving a 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test that included the first five games this season, Colon (14-3, 2.54 ERA) is as surprised as anyone that he has a chance to tie Detroit's Max Scherzer for the most victories in baseball."I wouldn't have thought this," Colon said after throwing six innings of two-run ball in Friday's 6-4 win over Los Angeles Angels . "I have surprised myself right now because I didn't know I was going to share the lead with the other pitchers. I am proud."
So is manager Bob Melvin , whose team has won 12 of its last 13 with Colon on the mound.
"I'd be lying if I said I thought he'd be 14-3 right now," Melvin told the Athletics' official website. "... With starters sometimes, the win-loss record sometimes isn't really indicative of how good he is, but to be able to be 14-3 and give us as many quality starts and shutouts, I have a ton of confidence in him."
There has been speculation that Colon, as well as Toronto's Melky Cabrera - who was out of Tuesday's lineup with leg soreness - could each be handed second suspensions for their involvement in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal. However, sources have told the AP that they will not face additional discipline when Major League Baseball announces player penalties, perhaps as early as this week.
Colon will try to get the A's (63-44) back on track after having a four-game win streak snapped with Tuesday's 5-0 loss that also trimmed its division lead over Texas to five games.
The Blue Jays (49-57), last in the AL East, go for the series win with R.A. Dickey (8-11, 4.86) coming off another rocky start.
The veteran knuckleballer allowed five runs in six innings of Friday's 12-6 victory over Houston. An eight-run seventh inning helped prevent Dickey from losing a career high-tying fourth consecutive start."I'm trying to remain optimistic because I feel like the same guy I was last year and it is frustrating not to get the same results," said Dickey, last year's NL Cy Young Award winner.
He's already matched his career high in home runs allowed (24), but only six of those have come on the road. Dickey is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts in Oakland, where he has not pitched since 2008 while with Seattle.
Alberto Callaspo , who's hitting .253 with five home runs and 36 RBIs, could make his first appearance in an A's uniform after being acquired from the Angels on Tuesday for prospect Grant Green . Callaspo is expected to back up third baseman Josh Donaldson and play some at second, even though he hasn't done that since 2010.
"The good thing is he's played a lot of it in the past but there's no question there's been a little bit of a void the last couple of years," general manager Billy Beane said.
The Blue Jays have been getting plenty of production from Edwin Encarnacion , who has reached safely in 16 of his last 25 plate appearances.
Encarnacion, the AL player of the week, is 4 for 16 with a double off Colon.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|June 28, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 28, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 03, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||60-Day DL||Right elbow strain|
|June 02, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||Day-to-Day||Left game - right elbow|
|June 01, 2013||Brandon Morrow||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|May 28, 2013||Brett Lawrie||15-Day DL||Left ankle sprain|
|July 25, 2013||John Jaso||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|July 20, 2013||Yoenis Cespedes||Day-to-Day||Sore left wrist|
|June 29, 2013||Jarrod Parker||Day-to-Day||Left game - right hamstring cramp|
|June 20, 2013||Derek Norris||Day-to-Day||Left game - groin injury|
|June 11, 2013||Yoenis Cespedes||Day-to-Day||Left game - left hamstring tightness|
|May 07, 2013||Josh Reddick||15-Day DL||Sprained right wrist|
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- R.A. Dickey still believes the Toronto Blue Jays can make something of this season, even sitting in last place in the difficult AL East. They won Wednesday despite four errors.
On a day the Blue Jays brass kept the roster intact at the trade deadline, Jose Bautista hit a go-ahead double in the top of the 10th inning as Toronto defeated the Oakland Athletics 5-2 on Wednesday for a series win and their fifth victory in seven games following a seven-game skid.
"For us to only give up two runs on a day we had four errors is a real positive," Dickey said. "I don't think anybody really expected us to make a move in here. We have the team in here, at least the nucleus in here that's going to get it done one way or another."
Bautista lined a double to right against Jesse Chavez (2-3). Rookie catcher Stephen Vogt 's second costly passed ball of the game allowed Jose Reyes to advance after a leadoff infield single, and Reyes scored on Bautista's hit.
Casey Janssen (4-0) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the win, while Brett Cecil finished for his first major league save in two opportunities.
Colby Rasmus added a two-run single off Jerry Blevins for insurance in the 10th.
"It wasn't pretty. This is a brutal sun field," manager John Gibbons said. "We got lucky there."
A's starter Bartolo Colon and Dickey each settled for no-decisions, leaving after six innings apiece with the game tied at 2.
A's All-Star closer Grant Balfour struck out the side in order in the ninth, but Chavez couldn't hold down the heart of Toronto's batting order.
Oakland lost for the first time in nine games with Vogt starting behind the plate. His passed ball in the fourth allowed a run to score.
The A's missed plenty of chances in losing for only the fourth time in 11 games - and the fourth in 11 extra-inning contests this year.
"It's not something we're going to go home and lose sleep about but it's definitely frustrating," third baseman Josh Donaldson said. "There were points in the game where they were almost trying to give us the game, and we weren't able to take advantage of it."
Aaron Loup allowed back-to-back singles with one out in the eighth, then gave way to Steve Delabar . He struck out Chris Young and Vogt.
Dickey wasn't helped by four errors, two of which allowed the A's to score, and the knuckleballer did not yield an earned run. The right-hander is winless in his last five starts, going 0-3 since beating the Tigers on July 1, and has only one victory in nine starts against the A's.
Dickey collided with third baseman Brett Lawrie on an infield popup behind the mound to allow Eric Sogard to reach leading off the fifth, then Sogard scored on Maicer Izturis ' second miscue of the game when the second baseman chased down a popup in shallow right field but dropped it as he appeared to lose the ball in the sun.
"We were having with the sky, some sun," Dickey said. "My particular play I just tripped over the Rosin bag and I heard Brett call for it late or I would have gotten out of the way, but I was on my way falling down."
Colon, a 14-game winner and All-Star at age 40, allowed seven hits and two runs - one earned - struck out one and walked three.
The AL West-leading A's lost consecutive games for the first time since opening the second half by dropping two in a row in Anaheim.
They wasted a chance in the fourth against Dickey after loading the bases with no outs. Oakland last faced a knuckleballer when they beat Tim Wakefield 15-5 on Aug. 26, 2011.
"That could have been the climax of the game if that gets out of hand, but it didn't and it was good," Dickey said.
A's right fielder Josh Reddick was a late lineup scratch after he showed up at the ballpark with a headache, a day after teammate Jed Lowrie 's knee hit him in the head after both chased a foul ball along the right field line.
Manager Bob Melvin said it wasn't considered to be a concussion but the team would be cautious and give him until Friday's series opener with the Texas Rangers after an off day Thursday.
NOTES: Rajai Davis earned a start in LF for the Blue Jays against his former club and Melky Cabrera didn't start for the second straight game with tired legs. He struck out as a pinch-hitter Wednesday. "Get him a start in his old stomping grounds," Gibbons said of Davis. ... Cabrera said he hasn't heard anything from Major League Baseball about whether or not he will face a suspension for his ties to the Biogenesis lab in Florida. "No, I don't know," he said. ... A's LHP Brett Anderson is scheduled to face hitters Friday. Melvin said he likely would throw 15 pitches, sit down, then make 15 more. He might do another simulated game of sorts before beginning a rehab assignment. ... New A's INF Alberto Callaspo , acquired from the division rival Angels on Tuesday night, joined his new team after flying in from Dallas. He flied out to right in the seventh as a pinch-hitter then stayed in at 2B.