ANAHEIM -- Whatever illness Bartolo Colon had Sunday, it was catching.
He wasn't feeling well for his start against the Los Angeles Angels. Then he went out and made them feel sick in a 6-0 A's victory. Colon pitched his second complete-game shutout of the season, a four-hitter in which he threw a season-high 116 pitches.
"My stomach wasn't feeling good," Colon said through interpreter Ariel Prieto. "I felt like I didn't have good power because of my velocity."
The All-Star's pitches were slower than the normal 91-93 mph serves he dishes out. That didn't make them more hittable.
"There's something about Bartolo that the slower he throws, the more the ball moves," A's shortstop Jed Lowrie said. "It was moving more than usual today."
Two prime examples of that were the fourth-inning strikeout of cleanup hitter Josh Hamilton and the ninth-inning strikeout of No. 3 hitter Albert Pujols. Both were called strikes by umpire Chis Guccione, and both Hamilton and Pujols looked as if they'd been hit in the face by a bucket of cold water.
"That pitch to Hamilton, that look like it dropped three feet," Lowrie said.
Pujols stomped away from home plate after he'd been called out, either not quite believing the pitch was a strike or that a pitch should be allowed to move that much.
"Bartolo was starting the two-seamer to right-handers at the middle of the plate and letting it run in on their hands," catcher John Jaso said. "That pitch was keeping them off balance all day."
Colon has been keeping the American League off balance all season. He's thrown complete game shutouts against the Chicago White Sox and Angels, he's thrown a rain-shortened seven-inning shutout against the Boston Red Sox and had two other games when he didn't give up a run, one against the Houston Astros (seven innings) and one against the New York Yankees (six innings).
Not bad for a 40-year-old.
"I've been trying to explain Bartolo all year," manager Bob Melvin said. "He is pretty amazing. He loves to go out there and compete. He's always a happy guy, but never more so than on the day he pitches."
There are many pitchers who are grumps incarnate on the day they throw, but Colon has been doing this for the better part of two decades, and he seems to have gotten past that. He hasn't gotten past the desire to compete, however.
A couple of one-out singles in the ninth inning threatened to derail his bid for the shutout, but when Melvin came out of the dugout, Colon asked for the right to face at least one more hitter. That the hitter was the almost legendary Pujols was no issue.
"I wanted one more hitter," Colon said. "I thought I could get a double play."
Melvin said that's unusual for Colon, who is good about letting the manager decide when enough pitches have been thrown for one day.
"He never asks for anything," Melvin said. "But today for the first time he asked for one more hitter."
Pujols struck out.
That brought up Hamilton, who popped up for the game-ending out.
With Eric Sogard's two-run home run in the third having given Oakland the lead early, this one was the A's to win all the way. The Angels contributed three throwing errors as the A's added two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth. But Colon didn't need all that much from an A's offense that had not scored more than three runs in any of the previous eight games.
A's (Tommy Milone 8-8) at Houston (Dallas Keuchel 4-5), 5:05 p.m., CSNCA
Eric Sogard was one of the big reasons the A's broke out of their batting funk in L.A. Go to: ibabuzz.com/athletics/