Bartolo Colon couldn't stay in Oakland's clubhouse during games as he served his suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs, and one night before his first start of the season, he couldn't even find the A's game on TV at the team hotel because the local Comcast SportsNet is having distribution problems.
Familiar only with Astros first baseman Carlos Peña, Colon relied heavily on catcher Derek Norris and pitched just fine in his first regular-season appearance for the A's since receiving a 50-game punishment in August for using testosterone. Oakland topped the Astros 6-3, the A's fourth victory in a row, and Colon got the win.
"Every pitch worked," Colon said through interpreter Ariel Prieto. "That was important."
Shortstop Jed Lowrie was playing behind the right-hander for the first time in a regular-season game and said, "I tell you, he works really quick, he throws a lot of strikes, he keeps you in the game. What else could you ask?"
Lowrie is doing his part: He homered and is 10-for-21 (.476) through six games.
"I'm confident with my swing right now," he said. "I'm working myself into good counts, and when I'm behind, I'm not trying to do too much."
On the flip side, Yoenis Céspedes, the A's cleanup hitter, is 3-for-23 (.130), and has five strikeouts over the first two games in Houston.