Great pitching and timely hitting has always been a formula for the Oakland A's success. It was clearly on display Wednesday night as Tom Milone pitched a complete game, three-hit gem to help the A's defeat the Dodgers, 4-1.
Seth Smith's RBI double tied the game in the fourth inning, and after Josh Reddick's double play scored Eric Sogard with the go-ahead run, Yoenis Cespedes singled to make it 3-1 in the fifth.
Brandon Moss smashed an off-speed pitch to right-center field for his seventh home run, and the A's took the second straight game from the team with the best record in baseball.
But the story of the game was Milone, who again was brilliant at the Oakland Coliseum. The Dodgers scored their lone run when Juan Uribe's bloop was caught then lost by Josh Reddick in right field in the second inning.
From there, the lefty was Milone the Magnificent, at one point retiring 14 Dodgers in a row. The only baserunners for Los Angeles after the second inning came on an infield single and an error by Jemile Weeks in the eighth inning. Milone finished with 112 pitches, including 73 for strikes.
Good: Tom Milone
I am hard-pressed to say more. Milone was simply fantastic. He had shades of another Tom, that guy named Glavine from the Atlanta Braves. Milone was simply in control and never let the Dodgers get into a rhythm with his wonderful changeup.
Who is the A's first half MVP thus far?
It is mind-boggling how a pitcher who is this great at home is so patently average (so far) on the road. Hopefully that is one of the things that changes in the second half of the season. Or sooner. Either way, a sparkling effort tonight.
Bad: Josh Reddick
Oakland's hitting star of the first half is clearly pressing. At times, he looks to try to swing his way out of the slump he is currently in. Other times, Reddick seems in between swings. It carried over into the field tonight, as his gallant effort was for naught, allowing the Dodgers to score their only run.
Nothing at all. I thought it might be optimistic at best to end up .500 after the conclusion of interleague play, but if the A's keep this play up, they could very well get back after this weekend is over. Tomorrow will be a tough test, though, with reigning NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.
Now 33-36, the A's look to finish the sweep of the Dodgers with a Thursday matinee. Travis Blackley takes the bump against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. First pitch is set for 12:35 p.m. PT from the Coliseum.