Baseball / Sports

A's work hard to get 1-0 win over Blue Jays

OAKLAND -- Nick Punto doubled into the left field corner in the bottom of the 12th to give the Oakland Athletics one of their hardest-fought wins of the season, 1-0 over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Batting with one out and Derek Norris on first, Punto stroked a liner fair by about a dozen feet down the line. Norris was running with the swing, and he came around to score easily when left fielder Melky Cabrera had trouble picking up the ball. Cabrera was charged with an error that allowed the winning run to score.

The win went to Dan Otero (7-1), the last of seven A's pitchers. Starter Tommy Milone threw six innings, then Eric O'Flaherty, Luke Gregerson, Sean Doolittle, Fernando Abad, Ryan Cook and Otero each threw one scoreless inning.

It wasn't a perfect day however, as the A's, once again 20 games over .500 at 53-33, lost first baseman Brandon Moss to a sprained left ankle.

He had to leave after a weird looking at-bat in the eighth inning. Batting with men on first and second and one out in a scoreless tie, Moss hit a routine grounder to second base. The Jays defense seemed to assume it would get only a force at second.

But the A's first baseman fell to his knees in the batter's box and never made it to first base as Toronto completed the slow developing double play. The trainer and manager Bob Melvin came to the plate to assist, and Moss was helped off the field.

He then headed to the A's clubhouse to be checked out. That's when the sprained ankle was confirmed.

Milone got off to a rough start this season, but the deeper the A's get into the summer, the better he's pitching.

He kept the Blue Jays at bay for six innings Friday, the third time he's thrown scoreless ball in his last 11 starts. He's allowed two runs or less six times in that stretch, and his ERA is 2.62 over that stretch.

The Blue Jays got one man to third base, Steve Tolleson with two out in the fifth, and two more to second base. The A's left-hander, 6-0 during his hot streak, was never in trouble as he was able to hold the Blue Jays hitless with men on base and the only walk he allowed was intentional.

The only downside of the day for Milone was the fact that Toronto's Marcus Stroman was pitching every bit as well.

Oakland's offense put leadoff men on base in the first and third innings, and in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings got men to second base.

Stroman is on a hot streak of his own. In his the minor leagues when the season started, he came into the game having allowed just 10 runs in his last six starts, a total of 35 2/3 innings. And he kept it up against the A's, striking out seven in seven innings while walking three and allowing three hits.

(c)2014 The Oakland Tribune (Oakland, Calif.)

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