Normally a run on three hits will not win you many games, but tonight it did as Seth Smith's solo home run was the only tally in the A's 1-0 victory over Seattle.
Despite being shut down by Seattle starter Erasmo Ramirez, Oakland won because Tom Milone threw seven shutout innings against Seattle's punch-less lineup. Grant Balfour and Ryan Cook closed the door with Cook notching his fifth save of the season.
Early on, Milone wiggled out of a couple of jams.
In the first, he induced an inning-ending ground out from Justin Smoak with runners on the corners. In the fourth with runners on first and second, Miguel Olivo hit into a double play to end that threat. From there, Milone cruised retiring nine of the last 10 batters he faced.
It was a good thing because Ramirez simply overpowered the A's.
Over eight innings, the young prospect struck out 10 A's batters and was never really threatened except on one pitch. With one out in the second, Smith blasted the first pitch he saw to center and that would turn out to be all the A's needed.
For Milone, this would have been a great start. But considering his road woes entering the game, it was nothing short of brilliant.
Good: Tom Milone. Entering the game, Milone had an ERA of 7.42 away from the Oakland Coliseum. This start was fantastic, no matter if the Mariners offense is pretty putrid. The fact is, he took his stuff away from home and used it. And tonight, the A's needed every zero to win.
Oakland fans can only hope that Milone builds on this in future road starts, especially with the tenuous health of Brandon McCarthy and Bartolo Colon.
Bad: The A's offense. Yes, give Erasmo Ramirez some credit. But wow, 10 strikeouts and a single run? The guy was not Randy Johnson entering the night. As a matter of fact, his ERA was 5.40. Yes, a win is a win is a win. But lets hope the A's score more than a solo going forward.
Ugly: Nothing is ugly in a win. The A's hopefully can use Seattle as a springboard back to .500 before heading to Texas. One game at a time.
Now 36-38, the A's will try to make it three straight as they send Travis Blackley out against Seattle's Jason Vargas. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.
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