DETROIT — 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.
Giants 5, Rockies 3: At Denver, Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval hit back-to-back homers and Yusmeiro Petit won his first game in four years, helping San Francisco beat Colorado.
Pence and Sandoval went deep in the opening inning, marking the first time all season the Giants have hit back-to-back homers.
Brandon Belt kept up his torrid hitting with four singles. He also scored twice to help San Francisco win for the third time in four games.
Petit (1-0) was recently called up from Triple-A Fresno to fill in for Matt Cain, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list last week with a bruised right forearm.
Petit lasted six innings, allowed six hits and two runs. He also struck out six.
Sergio Romo pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his 32nd save in 36 chances.
Chad Bettis (0-3) settled down after a rough start, allowing four runs and nine hits over six innings. Bettis, who didn’t pitch last season after hurting his right shoulder, is still searching for his first major league victory.
Troy Tulowitzki returned to the lineup for the Rockies after sitting out the past two games with a sore oblique. The smooth-fielding shortstop finished 1 for 3 with a run scored. The Rockies were without Dexter Fowler, who sat out with a bruised knee.
Given his roots as a reliever, Petit pitched out of the stretch even with no one on base.
He also pitched his way out of trouble on several occasions as he earned his first major league win since beating the Giants on Aug. 27, 2009, as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In the fourth, Petit loaded the bases with two outs, only to wiggle out of the jam by fanning Bettis with a low slider.
An inning earlier, Petit struck out Corey Dickerson and enticed D.J. LeMahieu to fly out to strand a runner at third.
Just that kind of night for the Rockies, who finished 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.