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OAK@DET: Milone allows no runs on four hits

Two streaking lefties will take the mound at Camden Yards when the Orioles host the A's on Friday night in the series opener. Wei-Yin Chen will battle Oakland's Tommy Milone as Baltimore hosts one of baseball's best road teams for a three-game series.

Chen is 6-1 over his past 10 outings, and in three career starts against Oakland, the 28-year-old has dominated, posting a 3-0 record with a 0.44 ERA. He's 2-0 with a 0.71 ERA in two home starts against the A's.

In his last outing, Chen earned a win against the Astros, going 5 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and one run while striking out eight.

"I felt good out there, and I was kind of hoping I could go deeper in the game," Chen said through his interpreter following the 97-pitch outing.

Milone, meanwhile, is heating up on the mound for the A's after a slow start. The 27-year-old carries a 3-0 record and a 1.67 ERA over his last five starts.

Milone started the season 0-3 through his first five games, but he appears to have found his stuff as of late. And he'll need it as he goes up against a formidable Baltimore offense that has cranked it up a notch since the calendar turned to June.

Entering Thursday, the Orioles had scored 23 runs in three games this month, and had a collective .368 batting average.

Although he's been getting results lately, Milone hasn't been doing it all by himself. He received a no-decision in his last start against the Angels on Saturday, and was hit hard at times. He was bailed out by clutch defense from Yoenis Cespedes -- who threw out two runners at the plate in the second -- and the offense, which rallied for 10 runs in the final two innings.

"Our pitchers have been throwing the ball great," said Moss. "Offensively, we've battled like we always do. More times than not, we've won with the same formula every day, which is to grind at-bats and get the starter out of the game."

Milone is 1-1 with an 0.69 ERA in two career starts against the Orioles.

A's: Crisp back in lineup Thursday
Coco Crisp returned to the A's lineup for Thursday's series finale after missing Wednesday's 7-4 victory over the Yankees with ongoing neck soreness. Crisp was back in the leadoff spot and playing in center field.

Crisp, who sustained a neck strain about a month ago, is more likely to receive more days off in the upcoming weeks to help it heal, said A's manager Bob Melvin.

"I don't know when he's going to be fully healthy," Melvin said. "There probably will be some days here where he'll be on and days when he'll be off to try to get him healthier."

Cespedes was not in the field for Thursday's game as he served as the designated hitter. Brandon Moss took Cespedes' usual place in left field. Melvin made the decision to have Cespedes get a little bit of a break to help with the soreness in his right shoulder.

Orioles: Negative MRI for Gonzalez
Miguel Gonzalez got favorable results on Wednesday's MRI, and the right-hander is hoping he can avoid the disabled list and start at some point this weekend.

Gonzalez's results were negative for any serious injury and showed just some swelling and perhaps a slight pull in his oblique and abdominal area.

Gonzalez, who was scratched from Thursday's start, will play catch on Friday and said the next 24 hours are very important in determining if he will land on the DL.

Manager Buck Showalter said Gonzalez is an "outside" chance to pitch on Saturday and the club will recall Kevin Gausman from Triple-A Norfolk just in case. T.J. McFarland is another option to get the start.

Worth noting
• Pitcher Eric O'Flaherty is getting closer to making his return to the A's. O'Flaherty is scheduled to pitch an inning for Triple-A Stockton on Friday.

• The A's pitching staff finished with a 3.08 ERA for May, the sixth-lowest May ERA in Oakland history.

• The Orioles have played 35 of 58 games on the road this season. Comments