OAKLAND Jemile Weeks dived headfirst into third base with a triple and came up nodding toward his dugout as if to say yes, friends, this is a preferable feeling.
The A's stopped a three-game skid Tuesday with a 10-4 win over the Angels, as their erratic offense exploded a night after being shut out, and Bartolo Colon continued his dominant pitching.
In doing so, they retook a half-game lead over the Angels in the American League West and the wild-card race. The A's are tied for the second wild card with Baltimore, a half-game behind Detroit.
Colon extended his career-best scoreless innings streak to 22 1/3 before giving up an unearned run in the seventh on a single by Maicer Izturis. That topped his previous high of 20 innings set in 2000, when Angels rookie phenom Mike Trout was in grade school.
Trout, who turned 21 Tuesday, and Albert Pujols went a combined 0 for 6 with three strikeouts against Colon, who at one point faced 20 consecutive batters without giving up a hit. Colon, as usual, went after the Angels' hitters, allowing four hits and no walks.
"The name of the game is throwing strikes, and the guy's a dinosaur, he's been doing it forever," said A's left fielder Jonny Gomes. "You'd think he almost throws too many strikes, but that hasn't gotten exposed yet. The movement on his fastball isn't your token fastball."
The 39-year-old right-hander improved to 8-0 in 10 starts this season when he receives three or more runs of support.
Tuesday, he had that after the third inning, as the A's pounced early on left-hander C.J. Wilson.
Gomes started the scoring in the first with his 12th home run, one of four A's homers.
"To get an early lead with a home run like that kind of gave us a little bit of swagger back," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "We had much better at-bats after that, so it did seem like that was a little bit of a momentum boost for us."
Another was the return of Yoenis Cespedes to the lineup after not starting two of the last three games because of a sprained right wrist.
Cespedes legged out an infield single to start a four-run rally in the third, which turned on a bases-loaded error by Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo and was capped by Weeks' run-scoring triple.
Melvin said he used Cespedes at designated hitter Tuesday to limit the amount of stress on his wrist. Cespedes is batting .410 since the All-Star break. Cespedes, though, looked fine taking ground balls at shortstop during batting practice and slinging throws to first base.
The A's are 47-29 when Cespedes is in the starting lineup, 12-22 when he is not.
The A's also reinstated shortstop Cliff Pennington on Tuesday from his Triple-A rehab assignment, and Melvin said he will likely start today.
Melvin opted to start Adam Rosales against Wilson, and Rosales hit his first home run of the season. It followed a two-run shot by Derek Norris.
In the seventh, Josh Reddick hit his 25th.
Trout hit his 20th home run in the eighth, joining Ted Williams, Frank Robinson, Alex Rodriguez and Jason Heyward as the only major leaguers to homer on their 21st birthday.
After Erick Aybar hit a two-run shot and A's center fielder Coco Crisp saved another by robbing Kendrys Morales with a leaping catch at the wall, Travis Blackley struck Trout out to end the game.