OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 20: Eric Sogard #28 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by Yoenis Cespedes #52 after scoring a run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning of an interleague game at O.co Coliseum on June 20, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
So I'm all for creating the pitching schedule where Tommy Milone can pitch exclusively at the Coliseum. I mean, it makes sense. As my boyfriend Vin Scully will tell you, Milone is a flyball pitcher, and there is no better park than Oakland for him. He proved it once again, pitching what would have been a complete game shutout had Reddick hung on to a ball in the second inning; as it was, Milone finished with one run in nine innings. He completely dominated the Dodgers, much like McCarthy last night, and even with the missing Matt Kemp, this is no slouch of a team.
Milone struck out two, while walking one; throwing a tidy 112 pitches. Nearly half of the outs he recorded came on the fly ball. He was in control from the beginning of the game to the end; at no point did I worry about the A's losing this one. The A's offense, meanwhile, put up four runs in support.
Yoenis Cespedes could have been a perfect 4-4 on the night, but he was robbed of an RBI single in the first and a double (just missing a homerun) in the seventh. As it was, he went 2-4, with an RBI single and a double in the game, making an immediate impact in his return. Also notable was Cliff Pennington's 2-4 night (enduring the heckling from Vin about him being a "switch swinger" instead of a "switch hitter").
The A's were actually down 1-0 in the game at one point; Milone allowed a lead-off single in the second inning, and after getting two outs, a ball was hit to Josh Reddick. Reddick dove for the ball, appeared to catch it, but when he did a complete somersault, the ball popped out and rolled away, allowing the run to score easily. Milone didn't seem too concerned; he set down the next fourteen batters in a row; the Dodgers wouldn't get another baserunner until the seventh.
Meanwhile, the A's tied the game in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Cespedes and Smith. Smith would try to score on a fielder's choice by Pennington, but would be tagged out at the plate. They would take the lead in the fifth inning, and would have had more runs had Josh Reddick not been struggling so badly. Sogard singled to lead off the fifth, Crisp walked, and Weeks dropped a gorgeous bunt single down the third base line and was safe when Eovaldi took an ill-advised look at third base. Reddick, coming off five consecutive strikeouts, managed to hit the ball hard, but also hit straight into a double-play. It did; however, score the go-ahead run. Cespedes knocked in the insurance run with a single to plate the runner at third.
The A's added one more on a towering homerun by Brandon Moss, who does not get cheated, but Milone wouldn't need it. He allowed three hits as the A's win the series, and they try for the unexpected sweep tomorrow afternoon. They will have to do it against the Dodgers' best; Clayton Kershaw takes the mound. But the A's are playing some good baseball right now.
Athletics lead the series 2-0
WP: Brandon McCarthy (6 - 3)
SV: Ryan Cook
LP: Aaron Harang (5 - 4)
|3 - 0 win|
WP: Tom Milone (7 - 5)
LP: Nathan Eovaldi (0 - 3)
|4 - 1 win|