Bartolo Colon makes his first start since a 50-game suspension for testing positive for testosterone on Saturday when the Oakland Athletics play the middle test of a three-game series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Colon had been 10-9 with a 3.43 earned run average in 24 starts for the A's when he tested positive for an elevated testosterone level. The 39-year-old was leading Oakland in wins and ERA at the time of his ban.
The right-hander's 10 victories were his most since 2005, the year Colon captured the American League Cy Young Award with a 21-win campaign for the Angels, while his ERA was the second-lowest mark of his 15-year career.
However, he struggled this spring. Despite issuing just one walk, and striking out 22 in 20 Cactus League innings Colon allowed 31 hits and 14 earned runs in that same span.
"The velocity's still there, his stuff all looks the same," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "He's the type of guy that, once the season gets going, he's one of the few guys you know that what you see in spring is what you get.
"A veteran presence within the rotation, we don't worry about him a whole lot."
Colon has faced the Astros six times and is 3-2 with a 3.54 ERA against them.
Houston will counter with righty Bud Norris, who was solid in his debut on Sunday versus Texas. Norris limited the high-powered Rangers' lineup to just two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings to get the win. He also walked three batters and fanned five.