A partially torn rotator cuff cut short Bartolo Colon’s 2006 season. After three starts this year, though, there are few doubts the 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner has fully recovered.
The Angels (17-14) lost to the White Sox 6-3 on Saturday, their third defeat in four games since winning 10 of 12. The loss also snapped Los Angeles’ four-game win streak at Angel Stadium, where the team is 12-4.
Los Angeles looks to bounce back behind Colon (3-0, 3.79 ERA), who has won four or more consecutive starts eight times in his 11-year career.
In a 7-5 win over Kansas City on Tuesday, the right-hander gave up five runs over five innings. It was his third start after missing the first three weeks of the season while recovering from the shoulder injury that sidelined him for the final two months in 2006.
“Bart’s stuff looked good,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told the team’s official Web site. “He had to make some good pitches to keep the lead. I don’t think he was quite as clean, quite as crisp, but his stuff was good. Bart’s going to compete.”
The Angels got a boost from Vladimir Guerrero’s first-inning grand slam. Guerrero has homered in each of Colon’s starts, going 3-for-8 with eight RBIs in those games.
Colon leads the Angels with 24 runs of support, despite having pitched only 19 innings. He pitched for the White Sox in 2003, and is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in three starts against them since joining the Angels.
The White Sox (13-14) will try to get back to .500 with Mark Buehrle (2-1, 2.97) on the mound. They had won each game Buehrle started until last Sunday, when the left-hander gave up three runs in six innings in a 5-2 home defeat to the Angels, denying him his 100th career win.
Buehrle has one victory in 13 games - 12 starts - against the Angels. He is 0-4 in nine starts against them since beating them on Aug. 8, 2001.
Guerrero is 5-for-13 with two home runs in his career against Buehrle.
Darin Erstad, who signed with the White Sox in January after 11 seasons with the Angels, is 13-for-38 (.342) in his career against Colon, and 9-for-20 with five RBIs in his first five games against Los Angeles.
“Ersty is swinging the bat well and running well,” Scioscia said. “It’s good to see him healthy, but not good to see him beating us.”
Erstad went 2-for-3 with an RBI Saturday to help the White Sox snap a five-game losing streak. It also was their eighth win in 11 road games against the Angels dating back to 2005.
Joe Crede, who was batting .176 (3-for-17) during the losing streak, had an RBI single in the sixth to put Chicago on top for good. It was Crede’s third hit in 17 plate appearances versus the Angels this season.