Milone keeps Twins in check to take finale

Milone keeps Twins in check to take finale

Milone keeps Twins in check to take finale
OAKLAND -- The mood in Oakland's postgame locker room was remarkably upbeat considering how the day started for the Athletics.

Hours after learning Bartolo Colon was suspended 50 games for violating baseball's substance abuse policy, the A's went out and played another terrific game, a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday. That leaves them 11 games above .500 for the first since ending the 2006 season with a 93-69 record.

Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp and Josh Donaldson continued their offensive production and Tommy Milone won for the first time in over a month as the A's remained in the thick of the Wild Card race with the Tampa Bay Rays, whom they play in a three-game series beginning Thursday night, and the Baltimore Orioles.

"Any time you're on the field, there's a sense of relief from everything," said Donaldson, who extended his career-best hitting streak to six games. "It's an unfortunate situation, but I think we can push through it."

Donaldson is hitting .429 (15-for-35) since being recalled from Sacramento just over a week ago. He has five doubles and driven in six runs during that span.

"I'm just not missing many mistakes right now," he said. "When I hit it, they're falling."

Crisp had three hits, including a home run, and drove in two runs for the A's, who won their sixth in seven games. Cespedes hit a two-run single.

"When Coco plays well, we win," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "That's the way it has been going. He's a good baseball player."

Crisp recorded three hits for the eighth time this season and has four multi-hit games among his last five. He's hitting .329 (68-for-208) as a leadoff hitter over the past 50 games. He has 13 RBIs in August.

"Any time he gets on base, he makes things happen," Donaldson said. "He puts a lot of pressure on opposing pitchers. Whenever he has success, it bodes well for the team."

Milone won for the first time since July 14 after giving up a run on two hits over eight innings. He walked one, hit a batter and struck out five while overcoming four Oakland errors.

"Typically you don't win a game when you make four errors," Melvin said. "Milone didn't let that affect him. He went out and picked up his teammates, where we weren't too good in the field."

Milone gave up a single to Ryan Doumit and a double to Matt Carson leading off the second, the only hits the Twins got off the A's left-hander, who was 0-3 over his previous five starts.

"That's about par for what he's done at home through the season," Melvin said. "It was a great outing, a nice recovery."

Josh Reddick also drove in a run for the A's in the first inning.

"Milone was pretty good," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He changed speeds, located his fastball in and out, lots of good changeups and breaking balls. He kept us off balance pretty much the whole day."

Rick Eymer is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.