A's carry momentum into opener with Giants

The Oakland Athletics have been on a roll of late and look to keep the momentum going when they start a two-game set Monday versus the San Francisco Giants at the Coliseum.

The clubs will play two more games in San Francisco this week.

The A's swept the Houston Astros in three games over the weekend at Minute Maid Park and have won eight of nine games to close the gap in the American League West standings. Oakland completed the sweep of Houston with Sunday's 6-2 win behind Bartolo Colon's nine strikeouts and seven shutout innings.

"He knows how to make a pitch when he needs to," Athletics manager Bob Melvin of Colon. "I thought his stuff was as good today as we've seen all year."

Nate Freiman homered and drove in three runs, while Coco Crisp, Josh Donaldson and Seth Smith had an RBI apiece for the Athletics, who are 4 1/2 games behind Texas for the AL West lead and went 5-1 on a recent road trip.

A's infielder Jed Lowrie was back after missing three games with a balky right foot and finished 1-for-4 with a run scored against the Astros.

Dan Straily looks to build on his last start when he faces San Francisco for the first time Monday. The Oakland right-hander tossed seven scoreless innings in last Tuesday's 1-0 win over the Rangers and improved to 2-2 in six starts, while lowering his earned run average from 7.27 to 5.73.

"I won't say I've ever lacked confidence, but this was the most confident I ever felt out there," Straily said.

Straily had allowed 19 runs over his previous four starts and was riding a personal two-start losing streak.

San Francisco is fresh off a successful homestand (4-2) and took two of three from the Colorado Rockies over the weekend.

The Giants remained tied with Arizona atop the NL West standings with Sunday's 7-3 triumph thanks to Matt Cain's five innings of two-run ball and a solid performance from six relief pitchers. Cain shook off some early rust and relievers George Kontos, Chad Gaudin, Javier Lopez, Sandy Rosario, Jean Machi and Jeremy Affeldt combined to allow one run, with Rosario giving up the run.

"The first and the second innings we had guys up, he was close to coming out," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Cain. "He found a way, it's all about battling. It's quite a job he did."

Buster Posey homered for the seventh time and Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt finished with two RBI apiece for the Giants.

Madison Bumgarner draws the start for San Francisco this afternoon and he is only 1-2 with a 3.40 ERA in his last seven starts. A 16-game winner a year ago, Bumgarner pitched well in a no-decision last Wednesday against Washington. He allowed one run in seven innings of a 2-1 loss and the Giants are just 2-4 in his previous six appearances.

Bumgarner, a left-hander, was hammered at Colorado on May 17, when he surrendered a season-high nine runs -- seven earned -- in a season-low 4 2/3 innings. He won his only career start against Oakland last June 23.

The Giants took four of six meetings with the A's in 2012.