Athletics-Angels Preview

The Associated Press

Three games into a stint with his latest team, Bartolo Colon already seems to be a positive influence on his Oakland Athletics' teammates.

The veteran right-hander looks for his third victory as the A's try for a second straight road win over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.

Pitching for his seventh team, Colon (2-1, 3.72 ERA) will face a team other than the Seattle Mariners for the first time in 2012.

Colon, who turns 39 next month, allowed three hits over seven innings of a 4-0 win at Seattle on Friday, giving him two wins in three starts against the division rival. He allowed eight runs in 19 1-3 innings while pitching against the Mariners in Tokyo and Oakland before Friday's win.

"He's calm on the mound and we feel calm around him," manager Bob Melvin said. "If you have someone out there who's nervous and fidgety, the rest of the team feels it.''

Colon, who won a career-best 21 games in 2005 in the second of four seasons with the Angels, is 2-0 with a 2.16 ERA in his last four starts against them.

He will try to help the A's (5-7) build on a 5-3 comeback victory Tuesday that evened the four-game set. Josh Reddick had three hits with an RBI and 26-year-old Cuban rookie Yoenis Cespedes delivered a two-run single to highlight a four-run eighth inning and help Oakland snap a three-game skid.

Reddick, acquired in an offseason trade that sent reliever Andrew Bailey to Boston, is 5 for 8 with three doubles in the series.

Though Cespedes is batting .243 with 16 strikeouts, he has three homers and nine RBIs.

"He's making progress everywhere, and he works very hard at it," manager Bob Melvin said of Cespedes.

The A's managed only Daric Barton's first homer since 2010 in 6 2-3 innings off Los Angeles' Dan Haren on Tuesday and could face a stiff challenge against scheduled starter Ervin Santana in this contest.

Santana (0-2, 7.71) is 13-3 with a 2.05 ERA in 21 starts versus Oakland.

However, the right-hander has dropped his first two decisions for a fourth consecutive season.

After giving up six runs in 5 2-3 innings of a 7-3 loss to Kansas City on April 8, Santana yielded five in six innings of a 5-0 loss at Yankee Stadium on Friday. He's given up two homers in each start and walked five while striking out seven overall.

"It takes time," Santana told the Angels' official website. Nobody's perfect."

Teammate Albert Pujols has been anything but perfect as his season-opening home run drought reached 11 games and 45 at-bats after going 1 for 4 on Tuesday. The only other time Pujols went more than five games before hitting his first homer came in 2009, when it took nine and 28 at-bats.

His one hit in two at-bats versus Colon left the park.

Vernon Wells hit his third home run of the season Tuesday for the Angels (4-7), who are 2-3 at home.

"There's nothing that points to focus, there's nothing that points to lack of effort, there's nothing that points to preparation," manager Mike Scioscia said. "These guys are out there busting their butts."

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