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Milone gets 1st win, A's power past Nationals 8-0

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 10, 2014 at 1:13 am •  Published: May 10, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — As if Tommy Milone needed any more pressure on him after the Oakland Athletics lost his first five starts, the team sent struggling Dan Straily to Triple-A Sacramento before the game — sending a message that he could be next one bumped from the rotation.

Milone responded with one of the best outings of his young career.

The lefty tossed eight innings of two-hit ball for his first win of the season, and three teammates homered to power the A's past the Washington Nationals 8-0 on Friday night.

"I think maybe a little bit of a vote of confidence that it wasn't him (sent down)," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

Brandon Moss homered and had three RBIs, and Yoenis Cespedes and John Jaso each hit a solo shot to back Milone's gem. Milone (1-3) struck out seven and walked three, leaving after 108 pitches.

Milone said he didn't look at the club's move to demote Straily instead of him as any kind of boost. Instead, he said he embraced the chance to pitch under pressure.

"I think just the energy level, I felt lifted — just grab the ball, get on the mound and throw it," Milone said.

Fernando Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth in his first appearance in the majors since October 2012 after rehabbing from elbow ligament replacement surgery.

Moss and Cespedes homered on consecutive pitches in the fifth as the AL West-leading A's foiled Doug Fister's season debut. Fister (0-1) allowed nine hits and seven runs in 4 1-3 innings. He struck out two and walked none.

"Physically, I felt like I was in the right place," Fister said. "I felt strong. It was lack of execution."

The biggest trouble Milone faced came in the seventh, when he struck out Danny Espinosa with runners on first and second to end the inning. It was the first time Milone, who made his major league debut for the Nationals in 2011, completed at least seven innings this season.

Milone's teammates credited his ability to pitch inside and low in the strike zone.

"He was awesome. That's pretty much all I got," Moss said. "We've definitely seen that all before from him."

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