DETROIT (AP) — Tommy Milone pitched five innings Tuesday night and walked away with a complete-game victory.
Not bad at all.
Milone settled down after a slow start and Brandon Moss hit a tiebreaking two-run homer off Justin Verlander, leading the Oakland Athletics to a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in a game cut short by rain.
Seth Smith hit a leadoff homer in the sixth, and Oakland had the bases loaded with no one out when the tarp was pulled on the field due to the weather. It was called after an 80-minute delay.
Milone (10-9) allowed three runs in the first, and then pitched four scoreless innings. The left-hander improved to 2-2 with a 4.97 ERA in his last six starts.
"I've had some five-inning complete games in the minors, but I've never had one in the majors," Milone said. "That was a nice break."
Oakland manager Bob Melvin thought about going to closer Grant Balfour when the rain picked up in the fifth inning. But Milone retired the top of Detroit's lineup in order.
"I was thinking about that, because it was really starting to rain hard, and I knew the forecast wasn't good," he said. "I was going to go to the bullpen pretty quickly if Tommy got into trouble."
Detroit dropped its second straight game, but the biggest concern was another sluggish outing for Verlander (12-10), who was charged with four runs, three earned, and four hits in five innings.
The right-hander, who won the AL Cy Young Award and MVP honor in 2011, is 0-2 with a 5.00 ERA in his last four starts. But the Tigers have a comfortable lead in the AL Central and Verlander is hoping to use the next month to figure out what's wrong.
"My deadline right now is the playoffs," he said.
Verlander and Milone each got off to a slow start, combined for 78 pitches during a 45-minute first inning.
Oakland pushed across two runs before Verlander recorded an out. Coco Crisp had a leadoff walked and Josh Donaldson singled. The runners moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Jed Lowrie's bloop double to right.
Seth Smith had a two-out walk before Verlander retired Alberto Callaspo for the final out. The 44 pitches for Verlander were the most he had ever thrown in an inning.
"Even in that inning, there were times that I felt like I had really good stuff, but I couldn't control it," Verlander said. "I'd get in a rhythm for a couple pitches, and then get out of sync again."
The game was tied before Milone got an out. With a steady rain beginning to fall, Detroit's first four batters reached. Prince Fielder had a two-run single, and Miguel Cabrera came home when Omar Infante's routine grounder to second went under Callaspo's glove for an error.