Dominican righty Felipe Paulino meets the Oakland Athletics for the second time in his career tonight when the Kansas City Royals host them to begin a three-game weekend series at Kauffman Stadium.
Paulino, who got a no-decision in a 4 1/3-inning start against the Athletics last September, had made just 54 major-league starts and won 10 games entering the 2012 season, but nonetheless he's been successful through the initial stretch.
The 28-year-old tossed six scoreless innings in defeating the New York Yankees on May 5, then beat the Yankees again on May 21 with 6 2/3 innings of scoreless, six-hit ball,
He's 0-1 with a pair of no-decisions in one start against the Chicago White Sox and two against Baltimore, but has allowed seven runs on 27 hits in 31 overall innings - walking 12 and striking out 34 while posting a stingy 2.03 earned run average.
In two home starts in May, Paulino tossed 13 scoreless innings.
He's opposed by Oakland's Bartolo Colon, who turned 39 on May 24 and is making his 28th career start against the Royals.
The Dominican is 15-9 in the initial 27 meetings while allowing a .255 opposition batting average and posting a 4.92 ERA in 166 1/3 innings.
Colon dropped a 9-2 decision to the Yankees - with whom he pitched in 29 games last season - allowing six runs on nine hits in six innings.
His last win came a start earlier at San Francisco, where he allowed two runs on six hits in five innings of a 6-2 triumph.
Colon is 3-1 on the road in 2012 with a 2.48 ERA.
On Wednesday in Minnesota, Francisco Liriano picked up his first win of the season and the Twins completed a three-game sweep of the Athletics with a 4-0 victory.
Tyson Ross (2-6) gave up four runs on six hits over five innings for Oakland, which has lost a season-high eight straight.
"We just lose a little bit of our fight sometimes when things go in the other direction early on," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "That's not the way (we were) before this stretch. Losing streaks can take on a life of their own."
In Cleveland, Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon both had an RBI double and the Royals defeated the Indians, 6-3, in the finale of a three-game series.
Bruce Chen (4-5) gave up three runs on seven hits over five innings to win for the fourth time in his last five starts. Jonathan Broxton allowed Cleveland to load the bases with one out in the ninth inning before inducing Jose Lopez into a game-ending double play.
"Today was a battle. I felt like they put up some good swings (but the) defense did a really good job. They made some good plays," Chen said. "And we have one of the best bullpens in the league. It was a total team effort."
Johnny Giavotella went 2-for-4 with a double and a go-ahead RBI single in the fourth inning for Kansas City, which has won four of its last five games, including two in a row to end this series.