Milone, Crisp send A's to 10-2 win over Brewers
MILWAUKEE Tommy Milone was a force at the plate and on the mound.
Milone took advantage of a rare chance to bat in an interleague road game, going 2 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored in helping the surging Oakland Athletics to a 10-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.
The two-hit game by Milone was the first for an Oakland pitcher since June 2009.
"It's fun. It's something different that we get to do a few times a year," he said.
A's manager Bob Melvin pointed out that Milone homered in his first major league at-bat.
"When he takes batting practice he looks like a hitter," Melvin said. "Seems like every at-bat he's had this year, even in spring training, was a good at-bat."
Coco Crisp had a leadoff homer among his four hits for the A's, who have won four consecutive games and 15 of 17 to move a season-high 11 over .500 at 35-24.
Milone's two hits were the first by an Oakland pitcher this season and just the second and third over the past three years.
Athletics catcher John Jaso praised Milone's poise at the plate.
"He swings the bat well. He came through with runners on," Jaso said. "His highlight was in the batter's box but he pitched well, too."
Milone (6-5) allowed five hits, struck out four and didn't issue a walk in seven strong innings. He retired his first eight batters before pitcher Marco Estrada blooped a two-out single in the third.
"He's pitched pretty well for us. He's a consistent guy who does basically the same thing most times out," Melvin said. "He wants to make sure he doesn't walk guys or put guys on base when one home run could get them back in the game in a hurry."
Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said Milone showed fine control.
"He had real good command on the fastball and a great changeup," Roenicke said. "He mixed in his curveball when he needed to."
The long ball sparked the A's to a quick 2-0 lead.
Crisp, who reached base five times in six plate appearances, got them started with his 10th career leadoff homer. Brandon Moss belted a solo shot with one out in the second to end an 0-for-11 slump.
Oakland broke it open in the fifth when it sent 11 batters to the plate. A double by Jed Lowrie drove in a run. Josh Donaldson knocked in another with a single off reliever Burke Badenhop, who entered after Estrada left with an injury. Josh Reddick followed with an RBI single.
Milone helped his own cause with a base hit that scored a run for a 6-0 margin. John Jaso added a single, his second of the inning, to drive in two more and push the Oakland lead to eight runs.
The A's finished with seven hits in the fifth, their most in an inning this season.
The Brewers put an end to the shutout bid in the fifth when Rickie Weeks hit a two-run homer.
Estrada (4-3) lasted four innings, giving up five runs and nine hits. He struck out three and walked one. He departed with a left hamstring strain after giving up the run-scoring double to Lowrie in the fifth. The Brewers said Estrada is day to day.
"To think that he's going to pitch again in five days, I don't know if he can do that," Roenicke said.
The A's tacked on two more runs in the seventh to close out the scoring.
Weeks appeared to hit a solo homer off the top of the left-field wall with two outs in the seventh. Umpires initially signaled home run but after a review awarded Weeks a triple. He ended up stranded at third.
Weeks entered the game hitting just .184 with three home runs.
"It was nice to see him swinging it well. Hopefully that continues," Roenicke said.
Hideki Okajima and Jesse Chavez combined to pitch two innings of scoreless relief for Oakland.
NOTES: The Brewers made a flurry of roster moves before the game. They acquired 3B Juan Francisco from Atlanta for minor league pitcher Thomas Keeling. INF Scooter Gennett was recalled from Triple-A Nashville. INF Alex Gonzalez was released and pitcher Mike Fiers was optioned to Nashville. Gennett made his major league debut as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning. ... The game marked the first meeting between the Brewers and A's since a three-game series at Oakland in June 2002. It was the first meeting in Milwaukee since August 1997 when the Brewers were in the American League and played at County Stadium prior to their move to Miller Park. ... The Brewers had won 23 of their last 27 home games against the A's. ... Estrada threw 86 pitches.