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Reserved Milone has two quiet innings in debut


PHOENIX -- Tommy Milone's spring debut came and went without much ruckus, just as he hoped.

The A's lefty, whose reserved demeanor away from the field matches the one he brings to the mound, quietly put away two clean innings against the Rockies on Saturday, allowing only one baserunner along the way.

Milone walked Carlos Gonzalez in the first but exited the inning unscathed. He picked up three quick outs -- two on ground balls, and a strikeout -- in the second, throwing a total of 36 pitches.

"I wouldn't say I was amped but just a little anxious to get out there, so I felt like a couple of those pitches I was rushing a little bit," Milone said. "So I just had to tell myself to relax and go out there and throw strikes. That's the main thing, especially with the first outing, is throwing strikes, and I felt for the most part I was able to do that."

Milone, 26, was the last of Oakland's expected starting rotation members to pitch this spring. Like the others, Milone didn't pitch in the first few games by design. The A's rested their regulars because of a lengthier camp this year, and because of the heavy workloads they endured last year.

Milone racked up 190 innings as a rookie in 2012, picking up 13 wins for the 94-win American League West champions. Past those numbers, though, he is still a young pitcher trying to make an impression on his employers, despite already carrying around job security he didn't have at this time last year.

"I'm trying to do the same thing," Milone said. "I'm not letting myself assume I have a spot. You have to go out there still and perform and provide for the team. That's what I'm trying to do out there every time, no matter if I feel I have a spot or not. It doesn't really change anything."

Milone, like each of Oakland's starters, will pitch every five days from here on out. He's expected to be the No. 3 starter in the A's rotation come Opening Day, behind Brett Anderson and Jarrod Parker and ahead of A.J. Griffin and Dan Straily.

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