OAKLAND — Bartolo Colon never envisioned this, a share of the major league lead in wins two months past his 40th birthday and going on a year since he received a 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test.
Colon won his 14th game, backed by Jed Lowrie's homer and two-run single and a two-run drive by Stephen Vogt in the Oakland Athletics' 6-4 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
"I wouldn't have thought this," Colon said. "I have surprised myself right now because I didn't know I was going to share the lead with the other pitchers. I am proud."
Colon, an All-Star, won his third straight decision while facing his former club. The right-hander earned the 2005 AL Cy Young Award with a 21-8 year for the Angels.
Mike Trout hit a two-run homer in the first on a ball he crushed into the elevated seats in left-center, then Colon settled in nicely against Los Angeles' loaded lineup.
Colon (14-3) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, struck out two and walked two. He has won 11 of 12 decisions since losing May 9 at Cleveland and has lost just once since turning 40 on May 24.
"I'd be lying if I said I thought he'd be 14-3 right now," manager Bob Melvin said.
After his Aug. 22 suspension last year carried into this season, Colon now is among more than a dozen players being investigated by Major League Baseball for ties to a Florida clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs. He is concentrating only on his pitching.
On Friday, he helped the AL West-leading A's bounce back from an 8-3 defeat in Thursday night's series opener.
Lowrie homered in the bottom of the first to get the A's to 2-1, then singled home two runs to put his team ahead in the second two batters after Eric Sogard's tying single. Vogt connected in the sixth, and he thoroughly enjoyed catching Colon. The pitcher shook him off 10-12 times.
"It's fun to watch him just move the ball around the zone, move the ball in and out," Vogt said. "He's just got so much knowledge and experience to be able to bring to the table. He knows what pitch to throw and when, how to throw it and manipulate it and all that kind of stuff. He really is special."
Jerry Blevins walked the first two Angels of the ninth. Grant Balfour relieved and allowed Albert Pujols' two-run single. He struck out Josh Hamilton to end it for his 27th save after blowing his first opportunity since April 29, 2012, Tuesday night at Houston — snapping his franchise-best streak of 44 saves in a row.
Jerome Williams (5-7) lost his second straight start to the A's while facing them for the fifth time this year.
He yielded four runs and six hits in five innings. The A's pushed his pitch count up in a hurry, and he threw 103 in all over five innings — his fifth straight outing of five or fewer innings.