Milone perfect in A's rain-shortened no-no
Lefty breezes for six innings vs. Triple-A Sacramento in exhibition
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Tom Milone did his best Dallas Braden impression at Raley Field on Saturday night. For six innings, anyways.
Milone tossed six perfect frames to cement his status as the third starter for the Oakland Athletics, who rolled to 9-0 victory over their Triple-A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats, in a game called after seven innings due to rain.
Much like Braden, who tossed baseball's 19th perfect game in 2010, Milone relies on his control and his defense to get outs. It worked like a charm on Saturday, as he struck out six and controlled the game throughout.
"It's what we've seen all spring," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "When he misses, it's usually by design. Great command, I mean, you see his mechanics. Real still head and really has a great feel for pitching and reading hitters. He can read swings real well."
Reliever Andrew Carignan walked two batters in the seventh.
Said Milone, who threw 80 pitches: "It would have been cool to keep going, but I know what I was out there doing. I was supposed to throw a certain amount of pitches. When I'm really not built up to throw that many pitches, it's hard to keep me out there like that."
Milone's counterpart, right-hander Jarrod Parker, didn't leave the type of impression he wanted. Hours after A's manager Bob Melvin deemed Parker's Saturday start to be an audition for the fifth spot in Oakland's rotation, the top prospect lasted just two innings. Hampered by poor control and a suspect defense behind him, Parker gave up six runs (three earned) on two hits and four walks while striking out two.
Parker seemed poised to get out of a rocky first inning unscathed, but center fielder Grant Green dropped a deep fly ball to allow three unearned runs to score. The next frame, Parker issued a walk to Josh Donaldson and a single to Jemile Weeks before Coco Crisp sent one out to deep right field to give the A's a 6-0 lead.
"When he falls behind, at times he doesn't command the ball as well as he can," said Melvin, who hasn't ruled Parker out of the fifth spot. "But he's got great stuff. Once he gets his rhythm and he starts throwing the ball over the plate he'll be a quick mover."
Donaldson added a solo shot in the fifth.
Up next: After an off-day on Sunday, the A's will finish their exhibition schedule with three games against their Bay Area rivals, the San Francisco Giants. Right-hander Graham Godfrey is scheduled to get the start on Monday at 7:35 p.m. PT in San Francisco. The teams will play in Oakland on Tuesday at 7:35 p.m. and in San Francisco on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m.
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.