SEATTLE -- Tommy Milone wasn't surprised or overly impressed by the fact that he is the first Oakland Athletics rookie to win eight games before the All-Star break.
After all, that is his job.Milone (8-5) allowed seven hits, struck out five and didn't walk anyone in Oakland's 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.It was the second straight superb outing for the left-hander, who threw the first complete game by a rookie in the majors this season in a three-hit victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers last Wednesday. He hasn't allowed a run in his last 14 innings."I'm out there trying to win games. That's what I'm trying to do," Milone said. "I have expectations for myself, obviously, that is to win games. That's why I'm here."Grant Balfour pitched one inning, and Ryan Cook finished in the ninth for his fifth save in seven opportunities.Seth Smith hit a first-pitch fastball from Erasmo Ramirez (0-2) 418 feet to center field with one out in the second inning to provide all the offense. It was his eighth homer of the season."I felt today that Zuk (catcher Kurt Suzuki) could have called any pitch and I would have thrown it in that spot," Milone said. "That's the kind of game I felt I threw."Suzuki also sensed that he and Milone were in a zone."That's how I felt," he said. "That's what I said he'd do in spring training. He's a guy who can throw the ball wherever he wants whenever he wants. That's what he did tonight. I love what he brings. He's real composed out there. He never freaks out."Milone, who came to the A's in an offseason trade with Washington, had been in a tie with Rick Langford for rookie wins before the break. Langford had seven in 1977.A's manager Bob Melvin said that Milone just gets it despite being a rookie who has made only 15 major league starts."He's out of the (Tom) Glavine style. You never know what's going on inside," Melvin said. "He's very unemotional. With guys on base, he never looks like he's got any trepidation. He knows the situations. He knows when to pitch down. He's got a very good knowledge of what he can do. Kurt also helps him out quite a bit."Over the previous eight games, A's starting pitchers had allowed four hits or fewer. It was the longest streak since the team relocated to Oakland and matched the longest in franchise history, set in 1921.Jesus Montero singled to start the fourth inning on Monday for the fifth hit against Milone, ending the streak.The Mariners, who had a pair of singles in the fourth, still couldn't score. With runners on first and second and one out, Miguel Olivo ended the threat by hitting into a double play."This guy Milone was throwing the ball perfect," Olivo said. "He was putting the ball on the corners really good. Corners in, fastball outside. Changeup really good."Ramirez, in his third career start, gave up three hits in eight innings. He walked one and struck a career-high 10. Coming into the game, Ramirez had only 13 strikeouts in his previous 10 appearances."He was outstanding," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of Ramirez. "I thought his focus was tremendous. He did a great job of keeping the ball down."Their guy pitched a great ballgame, too. He was spotting the ball as good as we've seen a left-hander spot the ball this year. Inside, outside, good arm action with his changeup."It was the ninth time this season the Mariners have been shut out, and it was the 50th 1-0 loss in club history. Seattle has lost 10 of 15 and has gone 23 innings without scoring a run. Oakland tossed its eighth shutout and won for the 10th time in 13 games.
The Mariners bullpen was 6-0 with a 2.29 ERA and had converted six straight save chances in the club's previous 20 games, since June 2. Seattle relievers tossed two more scoreless innings on Monday. ... Melvin said outfielders Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes are worthy of consideration for the All-Star Game. The A's haven't had an All-Star position player chosen since 2003. ... Melvin plans to start Cespedes, who has had hamstring issues, in left field on Tuesday. He was the designated hitter on Monday.