White Sox-Athletics Preview


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.