Milone continues to struggle on the road Brandon Inge jokingly told the rest of the A’s “Unacceptable!” after their seven-game winning streak came to an end on Thursday.
“We don’t lose!” he said in mock horror to reporters as they approached, then burst into laughter.
The A’s are a loose bunch. Their 10-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays made them 16-3 in July and the team is now in contention, in the mix for either AL wild-card spot. Despite the loss Thursday, they took two of three games from the Blue Jays and head to Baltimore to kickoff a three-game series against another surprising contender today.
On Thursday, Josh Reddick put the A’s ahead with a two-out, first-inning homer, his 22nd of the season. Oakland increased the lead to 3-0 in the fourth, when Brandon Inge followed Yoenis Cespedes’ infield hit to shortstop with his 11th homer of the season. Oakland also held a 4-3 lead before a shaky sixth inning put the game out of reach.
A’s starter Tommy Milone committed a throwing error on a safety squeeze by Travis Snider, allowing the go-ahead run to score and the Blue Jays never looked back. Milone (9-7) surrendered home runs to Edwin Encarnacion and Kelly Johnson.
“The first three innings, I thought that was as good stuff as [Milone’s] had all year,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “[Toronto] executed well and got some big hits down the stretch. Any time you take two out of three on the road you have to consider it somewhat of a success.”
One of Oakland’s strengths is its excellent young rotation, but there is one clear trend that might cause some concern: Milone continues to have some struggles on the road. The left-handed rookie allowed six runs, five earned, in seven innings Thursday, and his ERA away from home is 5.77, compared to 0.91 at home.