Yoenis Cespedes made his return to the A's lineup Wednesday night, but rookie left-hander Tommy Milone stole the show with a complete-game 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"Just to be out there in the ninth inning was such a good feeling with the crowd in it," Milone said. "Every strike I threw, the crowd was cheering. It was just a great feeling."
The Coliseum crowd of 25,383 saw Milone (7-5) allow just one run and three hits. He struck out two, walked one and threw 112 pitches in his first major league complete game and the A's first of the season.
"Good cutter, good slider, curveballs and changeups to both sides of the plate. He was really effective," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Milone.
Melvin wanted to rest closer Ryan Cook, and Milone made it an easy decision to let him go the distance as he retired the side in order in the ninth. He set down 14 in a row in one stretch.
"I wasn't going to let him go 120 (pitches)," Melvin said. "There were some scenarios that he potentially comes out of the game, but no one got on base, and he finished the game."
Milone improved to 5-1 with a 0.99 ERA in six home starts. He's 2-4 with a 7.42 ERA in eight road starts.
Cespedes, the rookie from Cuba, played for the first time since June 13 when he aggravated a strained left hamstring at Colorado. He went 2 for 4 with a run and RBI, and he was a big part of two A's rallies.
"I feel so good coming back
Cespedes ripped a leadoff double into the left-field corner in the fourth inning. He scored when Seth Smith hit a double that deflected off the glove of Dodgers center fielder Tony Gwynn Jr.
That tied it after the Dodgers had taken a 1-0 lead in the second. With two outs, Juan Uribe hit a blooper to right field. The A's Josh Reddick charged it and appeared to make a diving catch, but when he hit the ground and rolled over, the ball shot out of his glove. Juan Rivera, who led off the inning with a single, scored on the play.
The A's took the lead in the fifth. They loaded the bases with no outs on a single by Eric Sogard, a walk by Coco Crisp and a bunt single by Jemile Weeks. Reddick continued his struggles at the plate by grounding into a double play, but the go-ahead run scored. Reddick went 0 for 4 and is hitless in his last 19 at-bats.
Cespedes made it 3-1 when he blooped a single into left-center field. He also crushed a ball that was flagged down at the left-field wall in the eighth inning. Two batters later, Brandon Moss made it 4-1 with his seventh homer of the season.
Cespedes batted in his usual cleanup spot in the order but was the designated hitter for the first time in his baseball career. He rode an exercise bike in the clubhouse in between at-bats to stay warm.
Ross normally would need to wait at least 10 days before he could be recalled, but an exception is if he replaces a player who is placed on the D.L. Bartolo Colon is a near certainty to hit the D.L. with a strained right oblique.
"It looks to be the move to D.L. (Colon), but we'll wait until Tyson gets here and see what transpires," Melvin said.
"He pitched well, and that's what we asked him to do," Melvin said of Norberto's rehab outing. "We just want to give him at least one day off after."
"Based on how he pitched yesterday and how he's pitched every time out the last five or six times out, we'll always want him to be able to pitch," Melvin said. "But we've shown also that we're going to be careful with him. If we need to give him extra time, we'll give him extra time."
"Those numbers are significant, but he is going to get his share of DH'ing, too," Melvin said. "He'll figure it out in the D.H. spot."