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Mets send Colon to hill against A's
(SportsNetwork.com) - Bartolo Colon compiled an eight-game winning streak last year pitching for Oakland. Tonight, the 41-year-old right-hander faces his former team and tries to continue his latest victory streak, as the New York Mets begin a two-game series versus the Athletics at Citi Field.
During his two years with Oakland, Colon went 28-15 with a 2.99 ERA in 54 starts. He also became the oldest A's pitcher to start a playoff game at the age of 40 years, 133 days on Oct. 4 against Detroit in Game 1 of the AL Division Series.
Colon is 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA in his last six starts and hasn't lost since May 6 at Miami. He's unbeaten in his last seven appearances. Colon threw eight strong innings at St. Louis last Wednesday in a 3-2 victory.
In 19 career games (18 starts) against the A's, Colon is 8-6 with a 3.52 ERA.
Like Colon, Scott Kazmir, tonight's starter for the A's, is also on the hot streak. The lefty is 4-0 over his last five starts and hasn't lost since May 23 at Toronto. During that stretch, Kazmir has a 1.27 ERA and opponents are hitting just .184 against him.
Kazmir picked up win No. 9 in his last start, Thursday against Boston by fanning eight over seven solid innings. Kazmir has won 10 games prior to the All-Star break only once before, in 2006 with Tampa Bay.
Kazmir has been especially tough against runners in scoring position, having limited them to a .113 average, including .038 with RISP and two outs. His only career appearance against the Mets came in a start at Cleveland Sept. 6 last year, an 8-1 victory. Kazmir racked up 12 strikeouts in six innings.
Pitching in interleague games has given Kazmir plenty of success over the years. He is 12-5 with a 4.29 ERA in 23 such starts and has not given up a run over his last three games in interleague play, a span of 19 innings.
The Athletics, who open an eight-game road trip, had their five-game winning streak broken Sunday with a 7-6 loss in 10 innings versus the Red Sox. Alberto Callaspo posted an RBI double for the Athletics. Stephen Vogt and John Jaso each hit homers for Oakland.
"That's as hard as we fought all year in what looked like a game we weren't in for a little while," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. "A testament to the fight these guys have. They really never feel like they're going to lose a game until the last out is made."
The Mets have won two straight and four of their last five contests, including Sunday's 11-5 rout of the Marlins in south Florida. Daniel Murphy hit a three-run homer, while Anthony Recker and Eric Young Jr. each knocked in two runs for the Mets, who pounded out 17 hits.
Jonathon Niese allowed three runs on six hits over six innings to pick up his first win since May 22.
"We hit them hard and hit them early. It's a lot more comfortable going out there," Niese said.
The Mets have beaten the A's in six of the last seven encounters, but the teams haven't met since the 2011 season. They will play a two-game set at Oakland from Aug. 19-20 this year.
06/24 10:42:31 ET