After a 6-3 victory at O.Co Coliseum Tuesday night that gave them a 2-0 advantage in a four-game transbay series, the Oakland Athletics travel to AT&T Park looking to extend their winning streak to six games as they take on Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants Wednesday evening.
Left-hander Tommy Milone will take the mound against the Orange and Black for the first time in his career, and he’ll play a role on offense as well as National League rules take effect for the final two games of the series.
Milone has one win in his last seven starts after jumping out to a 3-0 record, and in his most recent outing against the Houston Astros he started off sharp before a five-run fifth inning that included two home runs put a damper on an otherwise stellar effort.
Still, the 26-year-old sports a 3.80 ERA with 55 strikeouts and only 12 walks in 64 innings, and his losses came throughout the A’s poor stretch of play from late April to mid-March when run support was hard to come by.
That hasn’t been a problem lately for Bob Melvin’s club. The A’s are consistently getting men on base, and last night was a prime example of their plate discipline as they drew two bases loaded walks that provided the margin of victory when paired with Adam Rosales’ eighth inning solo home run. The A’s lead the Majors in walks with 219 on the season.
Yoenis Cespedes is also in the midst of a career-best 10-game hitting streak, Josh Donaldson is showing that his early success at the plate isn’t a fluke, and it’s no coincidence that the A’s recent uptick in performance coincided with leadoff man Coco Crisp’s return from the DL.
Combine these factors with contributions from players in the bottom of the order like Rosales and Derek Norris last night and the patience of a hitter like Jed Lowrie, and it’s evident that the A’s have found a recipe for success when their starting rotation throws the way they’re capable of. Oakland’s starting rotation is 7-1 with a 2.73 ERA in their last 11 games, 10 of which have been wins.
Tonight may prove to be a little more difficult, however, as the A’s have lost 10 of their last 12 at AT&T Park. Game time is set for 7:15 PST.
1. C. Crisp CF
2. Jed Lowrie SS
3. Y. Cespedes LF
4. S. Smith RF
5. J. Donaldson 3B
6. J. Jaso C
7. B. Moss 1B
8. E. Sogard 2B
9. T. Milone P