Colon has allowed one run or fewer in each of his four victories, but has mixed in a pair of poor outings—allowing all four homers in those two starts, including three to New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez in a 12-4 loss on April 26.
The 31-year-old right-hander didn’t take long to rebound.
He outpitched reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana in a 2-1 victory over Minnesota on Sunday. Colon yielded two hits in 7 1-3 scoreless innings as the Angels ended Santana’s 17-game winning streak.
Los Angeles received a scare when Colon was forced to leave the game due to a mild left ankle sprain after trying to field an infield hit by the Twins’ Jacque Jones. The Angels expect Colon to make the start Saturday.
“I thought it would be worse, but once I started walking around again it started to feel better and better,” Colon said.
Colon is 8-6 with a 4.99 ERA in 17 career starts against Detroit. He is 1-3 with a 7.43 ERA over his last five starts against the Tigers.
Detroit starter Jeremy Bonderman is in search of his third straight win. Bonderman beat Boston on Monday, allowing three runs and eight hits over six innings in an 8-3 victory.
Bonderman escaped a pair of major jams, including one in the fourth inning in which he did not allow a run after the Red Sox loaded the bases with none out.
“I don’t consider myself a great pitcher yet,” Bonderman said. “I consider myself a pitcher who’s learning to become a great pitcher. That’s a big step forward for me.”
The 22-year-old right-hander is seeking his first career win against the Angels. He is 0-2 with a 5.00 ERA in three previous starts against Los Angeles.
Los Angeles extended its season-high winning streak to five games with a 4-3 win in the series opener Friday. Steve Finley drove in three runs and closer Francisco Rodriguez worked a hitless ninth inning for his eighth save in nine chances.
Finley tripled in a pair of runs in the fourth inning and added an RBI double in the sixth. The 40-year-old outfielder is 6-for-14 over his last four games after being mired in a 1-for-19 slump.
Detroit has lost four straight, scoring only 10 runs in that span.
Tigers closer Troy Percival, who spent his first 10 seasons with the Angels, received a huge ovation after his image was shown on the scoreboard in the middle of the first inning Friday. Percival, who did not pitch in the game, left as a free agent after Los Angeles opted to make Rodriguez the full-time closer.
The Angels don’t believe they have an advantage if they see Percival.
“You’re going to kind of know what he has just by being around him,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “But I think generally a pitcher has an advantage for the first few at-bats. The more a hitter sees a pitcher, he has more of a shot to get locked in.”