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A’s Try To Separate From Texas In Standings With Milone On The Hill

Jun 3, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Oakland Athletics pitcher Tommy Milone pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Milone has had some solid starts for the Oakland Athletics this season, but you may not be able to tell just by looking at his record.

The left-hander is 6-6 on the year, although he’s allowed more than two runs only six times in 14 starts. For whatever reason, run support has been hard to come by for the third-year pitcher, but that could change tonight as Justin Grimm takes the mound for the Texas Rangers having given up 19 runs over his last three starts.

The right-handed Grimm has an ERA of 5.59, and in his most recent start against the Toronto he gave up four runs on two homers in the fourth inning to break the game open, and the Blue Jays would hit him up for three more en route to an 8-0 win.

He’ll have to be sharp against an A’s team that has put up 13 runs so far in the series. Oakland nearly staged a comeback in the ninth inning Monday night before Derek Norris popped out with the winning runs on second and third, and the A’s hit two home runs off of Yu Darvish Tuesday in a 6-2 victory that put them three games ahead of Texas in the AL West.

Lead off hitter Coco Crisp has the night off for Oakland, and he’ll be replaced by Chris Young, both in center field and at the top of the order. In his last stint in the lead off spot on June , Young went 3-for-3 with a single, a double, a home run and an intentional walk against the Seattle Mariners.

Oakland’s hitters are starting to heat up across the board. John Jaso has reached base safely in 17 consecutive games – a career-high, Brandon Moss has homered four times in the last seven days, and even Eric Sogard has got in on the action at the bottom of the order, hitting in two runs this series to bring his season RBI total to nine.

If the A’s can get the middle of the order back on track, Bob Melvin will be hard-pressed to find much more for them to improve upon. Yoenis Cespedes is 3-for-20 since returning from an aggravated hamstring, and Josh Donaldson is in a 6-for-41 slump. They’ll bat third and fifth, respectively.

Game time is 5:05 PST.

 

LINEUPS

Oakland Athletics

1. C. Young CF

2. J. Lowrie SS

3. Y. Cespedes DH

4. B. Moss 1B

5. J. Donaldson 3B

6. S. Smith LF

7. J. Reddick RF

8. D. Norris C

9. E. Sogard 2B

 

Texas Rangers

1. I. Kinsler 2B

2. E. Andrus SS

3. N. Cruz RF

4. A. Beltre 3B

5. L. Berkman DH

6. A. Pierzynski C

7. R. Chirinos 1B

8. D. Murphy LF

9. L. Martin CF

 

Topics: AL West, Game Preview, MLB, Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers

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