If the Oakland Athletics are to avoid losing a fourth straight home series, they must overcome the loss of one of their top pitchers.
With Bartolo Colon headed to the disabled list instead of the mound, the A's look to bounce back from their latest home defeat in Sunday's decisive finale against the Cleveland Indians.After allowing 10 runs over 6 2/3 innings to lose his last two starts, Colon was scratched from this outing and placed on the DL with a left groin strain. The 40-year-old, 14-5 with a rotation-best 2.97 ERA even after his two rough outings, apparently suffered the injury during a throwing session Friday."You always want him to be able to pitch, but maybe with his age and so forth, a little break at this point might be good for him," manager Bob Melvin told the Athletics' official website.Oakland (69-53) has recalled Tommy Milone (9-9, 4.39 ERA) from Triple-A Sacramento to start Sunday. The left-hander was sent down after he allowed six runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings of an 8-3 loss to Texas on Aug. 2.Milone hopes to pitch better after he yielded two earned runs and struck out 15 over 10 2/3 innings for Sacramento."He feels pretty good about where he is right now," Melvin said.Milone has allowed one unearned run in 13 innings to split his last two starts versus Cleveland. He gave up that run and five hits without a walk over seven innings of a 1-0 loss at Progressive Field on May 7.The owners of the AL's final wild-card spot and trailing first-place Texas by 1 1/2 games in the West, the A's have dropped seven of 10 at the Coliseum following a remarkable home stretch in which they won 24 of 30.Ubaldo Jimenez took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and combined with four relievers to help Cleveland (66-57) snap a five-game road skid to the A's with Saturday's 7-1 victory.Nick Swisher and Asdrubal Cabrera each had two hits with two RBIs as the Indians won for the fourth time in six games.Swisher is batting .394 with four homers in his last nine overall against his former team. He's hit .405 with five home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 11 at the Coliseum.Cleveland starter Scott Kazmir (7-5, 4.18) went 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA in nine starts before he gave up five runs in three innings of a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 9.The left-hander has thrown 114 innings after recording just 64 for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League in 2012, so Cleveland is giving him eight days of rest before this start."It feels like I'm going through a little bit of dead-arm fatigue," he said. "I thought I could go out there (against the Angels) and gut it out, but it just didn't work out. It's something I tried to battle through."Kazmir allowed a run and struck out a season-high 10 over six innings of a 9-2 win over the A's on May 9.Josh Donaldson, who had two of Oakland's three hits and the lone RBI on Saturday, is 2 for 3 with a homer versus Kazmir.Donaldson is batting .353 in his last 10 games overall.
Bartolo Colon throws his fastball 84 percent of the time, 10 percentage points higher than the next-closest qualified pitcher. Indians batters have hit a line drive on 19 percent of fastballs or sinkers they have put in play, the fourth-worst rate in the AL.