OAKLAND -- The Oakland Athletics have been looking for a solid outing from one of their young starting pitchers. They got one on Friday night from Tommy Milone, who didn't allow an earned run in 6 2/3 innings. Unfortunately for them, the offense didn't cooperate, as the Orioles shutout the A's 3-0 in Oakland.
Prior to Friday night, the A's starting pitchers were 5-8 with a 6.12 ERA over the past 16 games. Milone put a dent in that ERA, but Orioles starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen out-dueled him.
Starting Pitching Report
Milone stood strong when it counted the most. He threw 105 pitches and struck out five batters, while pitching out of several tricky jams.
The first such occurrence came in the first inning when Manny Machado hit a one-out double and advanced to third on a stolen base. With one out and the runner on third, Milone struck out Adam Jones with a change up. He walked Chris Davis, but struck out Matt Wieters to end the inning.
Milone stayed cool and didn't let some calls that didn't go the A's way in the second inning ruin his start. With one out, Nolan Reimold barely beat Milone to the bag after a grounder to first base. On the next play, Milone got what looked like a double play ball, but both of the runners ended up safe. The umpires ruled that Jed Lowrie wasn't touching second base when he took the throw from Donaldson, and Steve Pearce was ruled safe at first base.
After the A's missed both of the potential outs on the double play, Milone took what could have been a disastrous turn of events and turned it into a non-issue by getting Alexi Casilla to ground into an inning-ending double play in the next at-bat.
The Orioles got another leadoff double in the fifth inning by Pearce, but Milone stranded him on base. Pearce would strike again in the seventh inning. J.J. Hardy reached second base with no outs on a single to right field that was misplayed by Josh Reddick. The aforementioned Pearce drove him home to make it 1-0 Orioles.
Milone exited the game in the seventh inning with two outs and a runner on first base.
Sean Doolittle relieved Milone and promptly struck out Nick Markakis looking to end the inning. He tossed a scoreless eighth inning with two strikeouts. It's almost scary how good Doolittle is. It's even scarier when you remember he was drafted as a first baseman.
The Orioles loaded the bases against Ryan Cook in the ninth inning. He allowed a single and two walks. Steve Pearce drew the walk in a 12 pitch battle with Cook. A run scored on an error by Lowrie and a sacrifice fly made it 3-0.
At the Plate
The A's hitters had a tough time with Wei-Yin Chen. The left-handed pitcher from Taiwan, tossed eight scoreless innings and only allowed four batters to reach base.
Nate Freiman hit his first career double in the fifth inning, but he never got further than second base. Casper Wells popped out and Adam Rosales grounded out behind him.
Coco Crisp was the only player other than Freiman to collect a hit off Chen. Chris Young and Derek Norris reached base on walks against Chen.
The A's had one last shot in the bottom of the ninth against Orioles closer Jim Johnson.
In the Field
Jones made a sprinting and leaping catch to rob Lowrie of extra bases in the fourth inning. He crashed into the wall as he hauled the ball in.
Donaldson was charged with an error in the second inning when the umpires ruled that his high throw pulled Lowrie off the bag on a double play attempt. The call was questionable.
Reddick made his second error of the season when he slipped as he tried to pick up a ball in right field that allowing Hardy to reach second base.
Lowrie made a costly error at second base in the ninth inning with the bases loaded. He couldn't come up with a grounder as he might have been thinking about the throw before he fully had the ball in his glove.
The A's announced an attendance of 16,944.
Green edged out Gold in the dot race.
The A's will send right-handed pitcher A.J. Griffin (2-1, 4.50 ERA) to the mound. He will be opposed by right-handed pitcher Chris Tillman (0-1, 5.23 ERA).