It would be easy enough to admire what A's right-hander Bartolo Colon did his last time out based on the results. He shut out the Red Sox for seven innings on three hits and a walk while striking out seven at Fenway Park.
But consider the circumstances of Colon's start -- a rainy, dreary day with temperatures in the 30s -- and you'll see why Oakland manager Bob Melvin called it "one of the more impressive performances I've seen in a while, really."
The A's could use another performance like that out of Colon on Sunday to avoid a sweep at the hands of right-hander Miguel Gonzalez and the streaking Orioles. One thing's for certain: The weather will be much more forgiving Sunday afternoon at O.co Coliseum, with forecasts calling for sunny skies and 74-degree temperatures around first pitch.
"Those conditions were very difficult to pitch in. Everybody else who pitched in that game had a tough time with the conditions, whether it was the mound, whether it was gripping the ball, whether it was the cold and the rain coming down on you -- and it didn't affect him one little bit," Melvin said of Colon. "He went out there and he threw strikes like he normally does if it's an 80-degree game here, and that's pretty impressive to watch.
"We all kind of marvel and shake out heads at Bartolo being able to pitch the way he does at this stage in his career. But I think the other night was terrific."
Colon threw 67 of his 94 pitches for strikes Tuesday, and his lone walk in that game was his first of the season. He's allowed only one run over his last two games, jumping out to a 3-0 start with a 2.42 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 26 innings over his first four outings of 2013.
The A's will need his consistent presence on the mound Sunday to reverse their recent losing skid, which reached four straight after Saturday's 7-3 loss, and slow down the Orioles. Oakland has dropped eight of its last nine overall, including three straight to Baltimore.
The Orioles, meanwhile, have won nine of their last 12 games. They'll hand the ball to Gonzalez, who squeaked past the Blue Jays his last time out. Gonzalez cruised through his first five innings on 59 pitches, but wound up allowing three runs on a pair of two-out walks and a sixth-inning homer by Edwin Encarnacion.
"Instead of staying on my toes, I was on my heels that sixth inning," said Gonzalez, who had been working between starts to stay more balanced. "That's why I was flying open a little bit. Balls were up. Just trying to do too much when I really didn't need to."
Orioles: Teagarden dislocates left thumb
Orioles catcher Taylor Teagarden left Saturday's game with a dislocated left thumb. He was hit by a foul tip in the bottom of the sixth inning. He immediately removed his glove and walked toward the Orioles' dugout.
Matt Wieters was already in the game as the Orioles' designated hitter, so when Wieters took over behind the plate, Baltimore lost its DH for the rest of the game.
If Teagarden is sent to the disabled list, Luis Exposito would be Baltimore's most likely callup. Exposito, batting .218 with Triple-A Norfolk, is the only other catcher on the Orioles' 40-man roster.
A's: Parker works in pregame side session
A's starter Jarrod Parker, 0-4 with an 8.10 ERA, took to Twitter on Saturday morning to say he had through a "game-like" side session in the bullpen to "work on some stuff." Parker has allowed 21 runs, given up 37 hits and walked 13 batters in 23 1/3 innings so far this season and taken the loss in four of his five starts.
Melvin opted not to elaborate on the "stuff" Parker worked on in his morning session with pitching coach Curt Young.
"I don't want to talk about the specifics of that, but, yeah, there's certainly things he's always working on, maybe a little bit more specifically now," Melvin said.
• The Orioles have won their first series in Oakland since July 20-22, 2007. The last time Baltimore won a four-game series in Oakland was July 31-Aug. 3, 1997. Baltimore's last four-game sweep in Oakland came on May 22-25, 1987.
• O's infielder Brian Roberts, on the disabled list since April 4 with a right hamstring strain, has begun light jogging in Florida.
• O's infielder Wilson Betemit (right knee sprain) has progressed from range-of-motion workouts to exercise activities in a pool.