Oakland will be riding the momentum of not only a season- long win streak, but a come-from-behind victory when the Athletics attempt to complete a sweep of the San Diego Padres this afternoon at the Coliseum.
The Athletics have now won five straight games but the fifth win didn't come easily.
Oakland took a 3-0 lead through five innings on a solo home run from Seth Smith and run scoring hits from Collin Cowgill and Jemile Weeks. The Padres answered with a two-run home run from Carlos Quentin in the sixth and a two- run double from Will Venable in the seventh.
The Athletics didn't wait long to respond with a three-run bottom of the seventh inning highlighted by a two-run home run from pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes. Gomes had been hitless in 34 previous pinch hit appearances before the home run.
In his return from Triple-A, Tyson Ross pitched well, allowing just two runs on one hit and four walks in six innings of work, but it was Sean Doolittle who got the win, despite surrendering the Athletics' lead in his one inning of work.
In his first start of the 2012 season Ross Ohlendorf allowed three runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings, but like his counterpart did not factor in the decision. Joe Thatcher surrendered Gomes' tie-breaking home run and took the loss in the game.
It's fitting that Bartolo Colon will be on the mound with Oakland's winning streak on the line. After collecting back-to-back wins in his last two starts, Colon will try to win three straight starts for the first time as a member of the Athletics when he takes the mound on Sunday.
Colon was shaky his last time out when he allowed five runs on nine hits over five innings of work, but his offense picked him up as he earned his sixth win in an 8-5 triumph over Colorado.
The rough outing against Colorado came on the heels of a pair of strong starts from Colon that had brought his ERA below 4.00 for the first time since early May.
The 39-year-old veteran is now sitting on an ERA of 4.21 to go along with an even 6-6 record in 14 starts this season.
Colon will be making just his third career start against the Padres on Sunday and his first one since 2006 when he was a member of the Montreal Expos. In his first two times out against San Diego, Colon went 1-1 with a 1.13 ERA.
On the other side, the Padres will counter with Clayton Richard.
After going nearly a year since winning on the road Richard was able to end up on the winning side as the road pitcher his last time out. Richard pitched seven strong innings allowing just one run on eight hits as the Padres downed the Seattle Mariners 5-4.
The victory was only the third of the season for Richard and the first after a four-start drought in which he was 0-2 despite an ERA of 3.86.
Richard is now 3-7 with a 4.30 ERA overall this season. The seven losses are tied for the most in the majors and are due in large part to a brutal five- start stretch from the end of April into mid-May when Richard dropped five straight decisions.
This will be the second start and third career appearance against Oakland for the 28-year-old who spent some time early in his career out of the bullpen. Richard lost the one start he has against Oakland giving up five runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of work during the 2009 season.