Athletics 6, Angels 4
Bartolo Colon never envisioned this, a share of the major league lead in wins two months past his 40th birthday and going on a year since he received a 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test.
Colon won his 14th game, backed by Jed Lowrie's homer and two-run single and a two-run drive by Stephen Vogt in the Oakland Athletics' 6-4 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
''I wouldn't have thought this,'' Colon said. ''I have surprised myself right now because I didn't know I was going to share the lead with the other pitchers. I am proud.''
Colon, an All-Star, won his third straight decision while facing his former club. The right-hander earned the 2005 AL Cy Young Award with a 21-8 year for the Angels.
Mike Trout hit a two-run homer in the first on a ball he crushed into the elevated seats in left-center, then Colon settled in nicely against Los Angeles' loaded lineup.
Colon (14-3) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, struck out two and walked two. He has won 11 of 12 decisions since losing May 9 at Cleveland and has lost just once since turning 40 on May 24.
''I'd be lying if I said I thought he'd be 14-3 right now,'' manager Bob Melvin said.
After his Aug. 22 suspension last year carried into this season, Colon now is among more than a dozen players being investigated by Major League Baseball for ties to a Florida clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs. He is concentrating only on his pitching.
On Friday, he helped the AL West-leading A's bounce back from an 8-3 defeat in Thursday night's series opener.
Lowrie homered in the bottom of the first to get the A's to 2-1, then singled home two runs to put his team ahead in the second two batters after Eric Sogard's tying single. Vogt connected in the sixth, and he thoroughly enjoyed catching Colon. The pitcher shook him off 10-12 times.
''It's fun to watch him just move the ball around the zone, move the ball in and out,'' Vogt said. ''He's just got so much knowledge and experience to be able to bring to the table. He knows what pitch to throw and when, how to throw it and manipulate it and all that kind of stuff. He really is special.''
Jerry Blevins walked the first two Angels of the ninth. Grant Balfour relieved and allowed Albert Pujols' two-run single. He struck out Josh Hamilton to end it for his 27th save after blowing his first opportunity since April 29, 2012, Tuesday night at Houston - snapping his franchise-best streak of 44 saves in a row.
Jerome Williams (5-7) lost his second straight start to the A's while facing them for the fifth time this year.
He yielded four runs and six hits in five innings. The A's pushed his pitch count up in a hurry, and he threw 103 in all over five innings - his fifth straight outing of five or fewer innings.
''We need these guys to come out and give us a chance to win when they take the ball,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ''At times it's been a little spotty.''
Williams lost his fifth straight decision and has a seven-start winless stretch since beating the Orioles in Baltimore on June 12. Williams, who pitched for Oakland's Triple-A Sacramento club in 2009, received a mound visit after Coco Crisp followed Sogard's tying single in the second with a base hit.
Crisp started a nice double play in the third when he caught Pujols' fly and threw to second baseman Sogard to get Trout after he reached on an infield single.
Crisp was ''shocked'' he made the play.
''Just like any other fly ball, guys are going to try to tag on me because I don't have the strongest arm. Today, my arm actually felt pretty good,'' he said. ''That's not my forte.''
Said Colon with a grin: ''He surprised the whole world with that throw, and the fans.''
Angels second baseman Tommy Field singled in the second for his first major league hit since Sept. 28, 2011, while with Colorado.
NOTES: Crisp passed Jose Canseco for sixth place on Oakland's career stolen base list with 136. Reggie Jackson is fifth (144). ... A's LHP Brett Anderson, recovering from a stress fracture in his right foot, will throw another bullpen session Saturday. If that goes well, the next step will be a simulated game. ... Special adviser Phil Garner is in Oakland for this homestand and was on the field for batting practice. ... Angels 2B Howie Kendrick was out of the lineup because he needed a day off, Scioscia said, adding that Kendrick will return Saturday. ... LHP Vargas, sidelined by a blood clot in his left armpit area, continues to throw off the mound every three days and should be able to rejoin the Los Angeles rotation soon. ... The teams will wear throwback uniforms from 1969 for Saturday afternoon's contest as Oakland hosts a 60s theme day. ... Oakland opened the gates at 4:30 p.m., in a new earlier Friday format to allow fans to watch Home Run Derby champ Yoenis Cespedes and others take batting practice.