Milone gets first win as A’s power past Nationals, 8-0
OAKLAND— Tommy Milone tossed eight innings of two-hit ball for his first win of the season, and three teammates homered to power the Oakland Athletics past the Washington Nationals 8-0 on Friday.
Brandon Moss went deep and finished with three RBIs, and Yoenis Cespedes and John Jaso each hit a solo shot to back Milone’s gem. The left-hander struck out seven and walked three.
Milone (1-3) left after 108 pitches, and Fernando Rodriguez tossed a scoreless ninth in his first appearance in the majors since October 2012 after rehabbing from elbow ligament replacement surgery.
Moss and Cespedes connected on consecutive pitches in the fifth as the AL West-leading A’s foiled Doug Fister’s season debut. Fister (0-1) allowed nine hits and seven runs in 4 1-3 innings. He struck out two and walked none.
The A’s sent struggling starter Dan Straily to Triple-A Sacramento before the game, and Milone was in danger of becoming the next one to lose his spot in the rotation.
The biggest trouble Milone faced came in the seventh, when he struck out Danny Espinosa with runners on first and second to end the inning. It was the first time Milone, who made his major league debut for the Nationals in 2011, completed at least seven innings this season.
Nationals manager Matt Williams was all smiles before the game with Fister back and his rotation at full strength. Washington acquired Fister from Detroit during the offseason for left-handers Robbie Ray and Ian Krol and utility man Steve Lombardozzi.
The Nationals entered the spring expecting Fister to help fill out the back end of the rotation. But he dealt with elbow inflammation in spring training and sat out the start of the season because of a strained back muscle.
The native of nearby Merced in California’s Central Valley made his Nationals debut in front of several family members at the Coliseum — though the free-swinging A’s hitters never allowed him to feel at home.
Fister put himself in a jam in the first by overthrowing first baseman Kevin Frandsen on a grounder by Josh Donaldson, who advanced to third on the play — one of three errors by the Nationals. Moss followed with an RBI single to give the A’s a 1-0 lead.
Most of Oakland’s runs, though, came via the long ball: Jaso hit his second home run of the season in the third, Moss hit his sixth homer in the fifth and Cespedes followed with his seventh homer on the next pitch to put the A’s up 7-0.
It was the first time the A’s hit back-to-back home runs this season.
NOTES: The A’s placed reliever Ryan Cook on the 15-day disabled with a strained right forearm. Cook and manager Bob Melvin said they don’t believe the injury is serious, that it’s just a strain in the middle of the forearm and has nothing to do with the tendon. … Nationals OF Nate McLouth is expected to start Saturday after cutting his right hand while making a diving catch in foul territory Monday. … RHP Sonny Gray (4-1, 1.91 ERA) goes for the A’s on Saturday against Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (2-1, 4.17 ERA)…This was Matt Williams’ first trip back to the Bay Area as a manger. Williams graduated from Carson High School.