OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — One fielding miscue was enough to do in Los Angeles on a night another Oakland Athletics starter shut down the Dodgers lineup.
Nathan Eovaldi’s hesitation while fielding a sacrifice bunt led to two Oakland runs and the A’s used a three-hit masterpiece from Tommy Milone to beat the Dodgers 4-1 on Wednesday night.
With the game tied at 1 in the fifth inning, Eovaldi (0-3) looked to third base after fielding Jemile Weeks’ bunt attempt and then was late on the throw to first to key a two-run rally that the Dodgers couldn’t overcome.
“We need to take the out there,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “That’s one that he knows he’s got to barehand it. With that guy running he checks third and then it’s too late. As soon as he checks third we’re like, `Oh God.’ That was one. We gave them an extra base there and they end up with two runs in that inning.”
Milone (7-5) did the rest in his first career complete game as the A’s won for the seventh time in eight games. He walked one, struck out two and retired 22 of the final 24 hitters he faced in his first career complete game, with Jerry Hairston Jr. hitting an infield single in the seventh and Dee Gordon reaching on an error by Weeks at second base in the eighth. Milone threw 112 pitches in Oakland’s first complete game of the season.
The Dodgers have been held to one run and five hits in losing the first two games of this series after being beaten 3-0 in the series opener.
“It’s baseball man, you can’t hit all the time,” Hairston said. “It’s one of those things where we had a really good stretch. It’s obviously a combination of really good pitching and it’s just the game, that’s how it goes sometimes.”
Yoenis Cespedes scored Oakland’s first run after a double and added an RBI single in the fifth as he made a strong return to the lineup. Brandon Moss added a homer for the A’s.
Milone snapped a four-start winless streak and improved to 5-1 at the Coliseum with a major league-leading 0.99 ERA at home.
“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.
Eovaldi (0-3) was once again a tough-luck loser for the Dodgers as he failed to get support from his hitters and also made a key defensive blunder that loaded the bases in the fifth for the A’s.
“The only play I had was at first base because he laid down a perfect bunt,” Eovaldi said. “I just saw third, I don’t know why. A perfect bunt. I should have been going to first the whole way.”
Josh Reddick, mired in an 0-for-19 slump, followed by hitting into a double play that scored Sogard to give Oakland a 2-1 lead. Cespedes hit an RBI single to make it 3-1.
Cespedes returned to the lineup after getting just one at-bat since June 7 because of a strained left hamstring. He had no problems adjusting to a new role as designated hitter, hitting the ball hard all four times, including a fly out to the wall in the eighth inning.
Eovaldi allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. The Dodgers are winless in his five starts even though he has a 2.35 ERA and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any game.
Both teams scored their first run on doubles that hit off the glove of an opposing outfielder. Reddick nearly made a diving catch in right field to rob Juan Uribe in the second inning but the ball popped out of his glove as he hit the ground and Juan Rivera scored on the RBI double.
Dodgers center fielder Tony Gwynn Jr. was unable to make a running catch in left-center in the fourth against Seth Smith with the ball hitting off his outstretched glove to allow Cespedes to score the tying run.
NOTES: A’s manager Bob Melvin said RHP Tyson Ross will be called up from Triple-A Sacramento to start Saturday in place of injured RHP Bartolo Colon (strained right oblique muscle). … The A’s played a video tribute to injured Dodgers 2B Mark Ellis, who spent parts of nine seasons in Oakland before being traded to Colorado last year. … Travis Blackley (1-2), coming off his first win since 2004, takes the mound for Oakland in the series finale against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (5-3).