Athletics-Mariners Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated June 24, 2012
Tommy Milone continues to be a different pitcher on the road than at home. He'll try to reverse his road woes Monday night for the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a three-game set against the Seattle Mariners. Milone (7-5, 4.13 ERA) owns the majors' second-best home ERA at 0.99, but his 7.42 mark on the road is baseball's third-worst. Opponents are hitting .169 off Milone at home and .317 outside of Oakland. The left-hander was brilliant in his last outing with a three-hitter Wednesday in a 4-1 home victory over the Dodgers. It marked his first career complete game and the first by a rookie in the majors this season. Milone admitted afterward that he's far more comfortable at the O.co Coliseum. "It's definitely a lot easier to pitch here just because you can leave a ball over the plate and they hit a good fly ball like they did at times tonight and there's a bunch of room so our guys can track it down," he said. Milone's lone outing against Seattle (31-43) came at Safeco Field on April 14 as he yielded four runs over six innings in a 4-0 defeat, surrendering two hits - one homer - to Jesus Montero. Montero went 1 for 14 on the Mariners' 2-4 interleague road trip capped by Sunday's 2-0 loss to San Diego. Seattle has not scored in its last 14 innings after being limited to five hits Sunday. The Mariners scored 32 runs over their previous 31 innings. "I thought overall we swung the bats well,'' manager Eric Wedge said. "I don't know how many hard-hit balls we had but it was quite a few. We were just a little on the tough-luck side of things." Seattle has taken five of seven 2012 meetings from Oakland (35-38), winning two of three at home April 13-15 the last time these teams met. Athletics rookie slugger Yoenis Cespedes had three homers and seven RBIs in the first four meetings before being limited to a single in 11 at-bats in that series in Seattle. He'll get his first look at another rookie in the Mariners' Erasmo Ramirez (0-1, 5.40), who will make his third start in his first appearance against Oakland. Ramirez had a 9.00 ERA in the first two after giving up five runs over four innings Tuesday in a 12-9, 10-inning win at Arizona. The 22-year-old right-hander was the youngest player to make an opening day roster in 2012. He was recalled June 13 from Triple-A Tacoma the day after Blake Beavan was demoted. As they start a seven-game trip, the A's are trying to match a season-high four-game road win streak from April 17-27. Oakland finished a 6-3 homestand with a flourish Sunday as Derek Norris' three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning was the difference in a 4-2 victory over San Francisco. "It's something I'll never forget,'' said Norris, a rookie catcher making his third start. The A's lead the majors in runs (117) and walks (89) this month. Seth Smith is hitting .373 with 13 RBIs over his last 17 games while Brandon Inge has 16 RBIs over his last 18 contests.
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