So there was likely nothing Milone could've done differently on Tuesday night, when he gave up three runs (two earned) against the Tigers in the first inning before tossing four scoreless frames thereafter in a rain-shortened victory.
"I kind of had an idea this might happen, being the fifth man with Brett and Bartolo coming back, I could be the odd man out," Milone said. "I was hoping it maybe didn't happen, but it is what is.
"I knew, no matter what, I needed to throw a good game, regardless if I was going to be sent down or not. They kind of reassured me and told me it was more about the numbers game. They needed to get Brett back on the roster, and I just pitched, so it makes it easier that way."
Milone was optioned to Class A Stockton rather than Triple-A Sacramento to ensure a speedy return. Since the Ports have already been eliminated from playoff contention, Milone is allowed to return to the A's as soon as their season ends Monday. The River Cats, however, could be playoff-bound, so Milone would be required to remain with them for at least 10 days before being recalled.
Asked if he expected Milone back soon, manager Bob Melvin replied, "No question."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.