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.