Milone helps Oakland beat Triple-A team

Tommy Milone and the Oakland Athletics showed no signs of jet

lag in their first game in the U.S. after opening the regular

season in Japan.

Milone pitched six perfect innings Saturday night with six

strikeouts to lead the A’s to a 9-0 victory over the Sacramento

River Cats, Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate.

The A’s returned to Oakland on Thursday evening after a week in

Japan, where they split two games with the Seattle Mariners.

Several Oakland players said before Saturday’s game that they

still were getting their body clocks adjusted.

Milone wasn’t one of them. The left-hander said he slept on the

plane ride home from Tokyo to adjust to the time change. He was

fresh and ready for his starting assignment, then went out and

locked down the No. 3 spot in Oakland’s rotation.

”I knew what I was doing out there, and it would have been cool

to keep going,” said Milone, who left after throwing 80

pitches.

Andrew Carignan pitched a scoreless seventh inning, walking two

batters, to complete a no-hitter for the A’s. The game was called

after seven innings due to rain that began during the bottom of the

seventh.

The A’s got a three-run homer from Coco Crisp in the second

inning and a solo homer by Josh Donaldson in the fifth.

Milone dominated the Sacramento batters. The River Cats hit only

four balls beyond the infield.

”It’s what we’ve seen all spring,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin

said. ”When he misses, it’s usually by design. Great command, I

mean, you see his mechanics. Real still head and he really has a

great feel for pitching and reading hitters. He can read swings

real well.”

Melvin joked that he wanted to let Milone pitch to one more

batter because he hadn’t yet reached his pitch limit after six

innings. He decided against it.

”I told (catcher Kurt Suzuki), `I’m not going out there in the

middle of a perfect game and taking this guy out of the game,”’

Melvin said. ”You’re either done right now or you’re going out for

the full inning.”

Milone looked far from done before leaving his longest and

strongest performance of the spring as he sailed through the

Sacramento batting order three times.

”Obviously, you try to go out there and throw zeroes every

inning,” Milone said. ”I came out right away and showed the

command I had, and I kind of realized after three or four innings

what I had going. But really, we all just came out ready to play

tonight.”

Oakland’s offense also got in the groove quickly, roughing up

Sacramento starter Jarrod Parker, who walked the first two batters

he faced and hit Suzuki with a pitch two batters later to load the

bases with two outs.

Parker appeared to get out of the first-inning jam when Josh

Reddick lofted a fly ball to center field. Grant Green got under

the ball but then dropped it, allowing all three base runners to

score.

Crisp’s shot over the right field fence highlighted a three-run

Oakland second inning and the A’s added two more runs in the

third.

NOTES: Manny Ramirez, who did not travel with the A’s to Japan,

strained a hamstring last week and did not join the team in

Sacramento. Melvin said Ramirez would not play in the three-game

Bay Bridge exhibition series against the San Francisco Giants. …

Left-hander Dallas Braden, who was placed on the 15-day disabled

list earlier this week, suffered a setback in his recovery from

shoulder surgery when he strained his throwing shoulder last week.

”He’s not throwing right now,” Melvin said. ”We’re on hold with

that. I don’t have a timetable with him.”