White Sox-Athletics Preview

After scuffling the previous few seasons, it appeared as though

both Jake Peavy’s and Bartolo Colon’s best years may be behind


The two veteran right-handers, however, have proven plenty

formidable early this season.

In a matchup of former Cy Young award winners, Peavy takes the

hill opposite Colon as the surging Chicago White Sox and Oakland

Athletics open a three-game set Monday night.

After going a combined 14-13 with a 4.77 ERA and battling

numerous injuries from 2010-11, Peavy, who won the NL Cy Young with

San Diego in 2007, seems to be back on track.

Peavy (2-0, 2.75 ERA) has struck out 21 over his first three

starts spanning 19 2-3 innings, surrendering two walks while

holding opponents to a .200 average. He was at his best during

Wednesday’s 8-1 win over Baltimore, giving up a run and four hits

while fanning eight over seven innings.

“I know it’s been a long grind with the fans and everybody to

get me to this point, but I am healthy,” he told the team’s

official website. “I don’t know what I can or can’t be after what

I’ve gone through, but I can promise you my effort and preparation

is going to be there.

“I feel very blessed to hopefully stay this way for the majority

of this year and give my team a quality effort every fifth


While Colon (3-1, 2.63) entered this season having gone 22-31

with a 4.72 ERA since winning the 2005 AL Cy Young with the Los

Angeles Angels, he too has impressed. Colon has walked just two

over four starts covering 27 1-3 innings.

The burly 38-year-old compiled eight innings of four-hit ball

and threw 82 of his 108 pitches for strikes – including 38 in a row

– in Wednesday’s 6-0 road win over the Angels.

“It’s a phenomenal feat, yet really not surprising out of him,”

Bob Melvin said of Colon’s 38 consecutive strikes. “I mean, I think

he could throw a strike with his eyes closed if he had to. That’s

the way he’s been for us.”

Colon was excellent in his most recent matchup against Chicago

(9-6), surrendering one run and seven hits over eight innings of a

New York Yankees’ 3-1 victory last April 27.

Colon, though, could have his hands full this time around

against a White Sox team that’s won five straight on the road.

Chicago is coming off a three-game sweep at Seattle, during which

it went 13 for 30 (.433) with runners in scoring position.

One day after Philip Humber threw the 21st perfect game in MLB

history during a 4-0 win, the White Sox collected a season-high 12

hits in Sunday’s 7-4 victory.

“We played pretty good these three games,” said Alex Rios, who

went 3 for 4 with three RBIs on Sunday. “It’s a confidence boost to

us. We’ve been playing good. We just need to keep doing what we’re


Oakland (8-9), meanwhile, won 5-1 on Sunday and salvaged the

finale of a three-game set with Cleveland behind a strong effort

from starter Tyson Ross.

Batting a major-league worst .178 with runners in scoring

position, the A’s went 3 for 11 in such situations Sunday.

“We’d like to think each and every time we do come up with

runners in scoring position, that the numbers are with us, and

we’re going to get better and better at it,” Melvin told the team’s

official website. “For the most part you can only hit this low so

long, and then you feel like you have a couple owed to you.”