Melvin praises Milone for going deep, preserving bullpen
Howie Kendrick took Tommy Milone deep as part of a three-hit day in the Angels' 5-4 win over the A's. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
OAKLAND -- It took six games, but the Angels finally found a way to defeat the Athletics. Oakland couldn't break out the brooms to celebrate a second sweep over their Southern California rivals as they fell 5-4 on Wednesday.
The loss snaps the A's 13-game winning streak against the American League West.
At the Plate
The A's took the lead with two runs in the third inning. Yoenis Cespedes reached base when he was grazed by a 2-0 pitch thrown by C.J. Wilson. Josh Donaldson hit a double down the left field line and Cespedes scored from first easily. Cespedes got a full head of steam as he rounded the bases, and he blew right past third base coach Mike Gallego's stop sign and scored without a slide.
Nate Freiman drove in Donaldson with a go-ahead double into the left field gap. Earlier in the game he hit a line drive in the same direction with the bases loaded, but Mike Trout got to it.
Adam Rosales led off the fourth inning with a double, but he never ended up scoring. Jed Lowrie laid down a sacrifice bunt to move him to third with one out. Wilson was able to get Derek Norris to hit a sharp ground ball to third base with the infield in and struck out Seth Smith.
The A's were able to work up Wilson's pitch count, but couldn't strike for the big blow. He left the game in the seventh inning with one out. The A's were able to rally on the Angels bullpen.
Oakland's hitters scored two runs in the eighth inning. Luke Montz, who was called up before the game, hit an RBI double over Trout's head in center field. He scored when Rosales drove him home with a single to make it one-run game.
Montz finished the day 1 for 4 in his A's debut and just missed a home run to right field.
The A's put together a rally in the ninth inning. Cespedes was hit by a pitch for the second time. He over-slid second base on a steal attempt to make the first out. Donaldson drew a walk, but Brandon Moss pinch hit and flew out. Josh Reddick drew a walk in an eight-pitch battle with Ernesto Frieri to move the tying run into scoring position, but Eric Sogard popped out to end the game.
Starting Pitching Report
Tommy Milone gave the A's seven-plus innings of work on Wednesday. The deep start combined with the day off on Thursday should do wonders for the A's bullpen. Milone allowed four runs on seven hits and no walks. He had trouble with the long ball, as he gave up three home runs, but his 10 strikeouts tied a career high.
The Angels took an early lead when Howie Kendrick muscled an 0-2 pitch over the center field wall that carried for a home run.
Milone ran into trouble in the fifth inning when the Angels put two runners on with no outs. The A's had a shot at a double play, but Kendrick reached base when he hit a comebacker that bounced off Milone's outstretched glove.
The A's starter was able to strike out Luis Jimenez after he twice failed to lay down a bunt to move the runners over. It looked like Milone would escape the jam unscathed after he got Hank Konger to pop out, but J.B. Shuck drove in the game-tying run with a bloop single. Milone struck out Erick Aybar to end the inning.
The Angels added two runs on two home runs in the sixth inning. Trout and Trumbo both went deep to left field. Trumbo hit his third home run in as many games against the A's.
Milone was able to fool hitters with his trademark change up, but all three of the Angels home runs came against the fastball.
Pat Neshek entered in relief of Milone with a runner on and no outs in the eighth inning. Aybar made the first out when he was caught stealing. The next batter, Trout, hit a triple when Cespedes lost his footing on the warning track in center field and fell down. Pujols drove him home with a sacrifice fly. Neshek was visited by trainer Walt Horn, but stayed in the game. He allowed a single to Kendrick, but Hamilton was thrown out at third to end the inning.
Ryan Cook struck out two batters in a scoreless ninth inning.
In the Field
Norris threw out Aybar on a stolen base attempt in the eighth inning. It was the first time he's thrown out a runner in his last eight attempts. John Jaso has only thrown out one runner this season as well.
Josh Reddick saved the A's a run in the eighth inning when he threw out Josh Hamilton at third base after Kendrick's two-out single. Reddick's defensive effort proved to alter the course of the game.
The A's announced an attendance of 17,139.
The A's have a much needed day off on Thursday before a 10-game road trip. They will play the Yankees in New York on Friday. A.J. Griffin will get the ball in the series opener. Griffin is 2-2 with a 4.65 ERA. The Yankees will have lefty CC Sabathia on the mound. He is 4-2 with a 3.35 ERA.