Can the Oakland A’s Return Home Above .500?

This afternoon in Florida, the Oakland A’s will finish their final game of a long nine-game road trip back east against the Tampa Bay Rays. For the first time in 2012, the Athletics reached .500 after defeating the Baltimore Orioles on April 27, and they managed to win the series against the Boston Red Sox, 2-1. The series with the Tampa Bay Rays is at 1-1 with the A’s once again back at .500.

Tom Milone will be the starting pitcher on the mound against the Rays. In Milone’s first four starts for the A’s, he was especially impressive, throwing two shutouts, most recently against the Chicago White Sox on April 24 and in his debut with the team against the Kansas City Royals he allowed just three hits over eight innings. Unfortunately, Fenway Park was not as kind to Milone and in just 4.2 innings, he gave up seven earned runs and three home runs.

A’s fans will have to hope that last Monday’s outing was just a bad day for Milone as he returns to the mound on Sunday, going up against the Rays’ pitcher Mike Moore. This is Moore’s first appearance against Oakland, and he comes in with an ERA of 4.20 and has a record of 1-1.

On Saturday, May 5, the A’s dashed the Rays hopes of a seventh consecutive victory, defeating the team in extra innings by a final score of 4-3.  Oakland’s pitchers were able to shutout Tampa Bay in seven of 12 innings, and it was the former Rays’ outfielder, Jonny Gomes, who knocked his fifth home run out of the park to win the game.

The Rays are especially tough this season and still maintain the best record in the major leagues at 19-9, but if Milone comes through as he has in the past,  the green and gold might just return home to Oakland above .500, proving they are not the bottom of the barrel team many had predicted them to be in 2012.

K.C. Dermody grew up in the Bay Area of California, following the Oakland Athletics since the days of Billy Ball, and attending hundreds of games over the past three decades. Follow her at, Twitter @kcdermody, or

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