After taking game one of the series 4-2 and grabbing a share of first-place in the AL West standings, the Oakland A’s send out Bartolo Colon (14-5, 2.94 ERA) for game two of the series with the Texas Rangers.
The right-hander makes his second start since returning from the DL, and his 26th of the season. He hasn’t won a game since July 26, though, and August was the first month he didn’t earn a win during this season. Before that he had recorded at least three in each of the first four months of 2013.
The 40-year-old righty picked up a no decision in his most recent outing against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Colon worked five innings and gave up one run on seven hits while striking out one.
The veteran has made 31 starts against the Rangers in his career, and he is 19-7 with a 3.65 ERA. He’s 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA in two starts against the Rangers in 2013. Those outings came in back-to-back in starts in the middle of May, and since winning the second one Colon is 11-2.
Adrian Beltre, who bats cleanup for the Rangers, is a career .302 (19-for-63) hitter with five home runs off Colon. Alex Rios, who’s in the sixth spot, is 9-for-26 (.346) off the right-hander in his career.
Texas meanwhile calls on Martin Perez (8-3, 3.58 ERA) in game two. The lefty has won each of his last five starts for the Rangers, and has pitched through at least six innings in all of those games. None of the A’s hitters have more than six at-bats against Perez, but Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes both have a pair of hits of the lefty. Crisp is in the lineup after fouling a ball of his shin last night, but he’s the DH. Michael Choice, who gets his first start in the field (right field, batting ninth) will be looking to collect his first MLB hit.
Brandon Moss, who doesn’t get the start for the second night in a row with the A’s facing another lefty, has been named the AL Player of the Week. Moss hit .364 (8-for-22) with four home runs, 11 RBI and 8 runs as Oakland went 6-1 during the week concluding on September 1.
“How is it not Coco?” Joked Moss of his teammate who has homered in three straight games, and has five in his last 10 games.
Derek Norris, who is slated to be activated from the DL on Thursday when he’s eligible, took batting practice before the game. He had just completed a three-game rehab stint with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats where he went 6-for-14 (.429) with two home runs. Right fielder Josh Reddick, who is also on the DL, shagged balls during BP but didn’t hit on the field.
The team has also brought up a second wave of September reinforcements as Tommy Milone was recalled from the Single-A Stockton Ports and Evan Scribner from the River Cats, while the team selected Pat Neshek from Sacramento. For Scribner, this is his fifth stint with the club in 2013.
1. Crisp DH
2. Donaldson 3B
3. Lowrie SS
4. Cespedes LF
5. Frieman 1B
6. Callaspo 2B
7. Young CF
8. Suzuki C
9. Choice RF
1. Gentry CF
2. Profar SS
3. Kinsler 2B
4. Beltre 3B
5. Pierzynski C
6. Rios RF
7. Moreland 1B
8. Berkman DH
9. Murphy LF