By: Malaika Bobino
Oakland, CA – The A’s want to turn things around this series. With a rough start to the season, Oakland is confident they will get better, after all it’s still a whole lot of baseball to be played.
Taking a 1-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals, the A’s defense came alive. Daric Barton also returned to the lineup to help provide a spark on defense which has been heavily missed thus far.
“We have to play good defense,” manager Bob Melvin said. “It was a little bit disappointing the first two games we didn’t, but to come back today and play well in a game that had the feel of a low-scoring game early on, was what we needed.”
After being reinstated from the 15-day disabled list, Barton got back to doing the things he’s known for and that’s making great plays. He made a diving catch off Brayan Pena’s liner in the fifth.
Oakland’s defense began early in the first frame when Jason Bourgeois doubled on a fly ball to center field. Lorenzo Cain then flew out to Josh Reddick in right field, Reddick threw to third for the out and to prevent the scoring run.
“We know we have a good defensive team, we just haven’t proved it the last couple of days,” said Josh Donaldson. “We’re going to hopefully go out there and continue playing like we did. We want to score a lot of runs here but if we don’t we know we have our pitching and defense to back us up.”
Donaldson’s single RBI was the only play that put the A’s on the board. They had enough opportunities after Royals pitcher Luis Mendoza walked two batters in the second inning putting them in scoring position.
A wild pitch moved Kurt Suzuki to third and Mendoza walked Cliff Pennington to load the bases with two outs. Jemile Weeks was at bat but he grounded into second to end the inning.
Despite the offense taking the night off, southpaw Tommy Milone tossed eight shutout innings in his season debut. Giving Oakland their first win since March 29 in Tokyo.
Milone in his sixth start of his career, tossed at least six innings in one of his five starts, allowing two runs of fewer twice and walked one batters or fewer four times. Tonight nothing got passed him for eight innings. Allowing only three hits and three walks, Tommy didn’t have a much to complain about.
“He pitched great,” Suzuki said. “Not the best command he would have liked, but he found the way. Him being a young guy able to do that at this level is awesome.”