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WSH@OAK: Milone fans seven over eight scoreless

The A's will wrap up a 10-game homestand at the Coliseum on Wednesday with a matinee matchup against the White Sox featuring a pair of young hurlers.

Oakland lefty Tommy Milone, coming off his best outing of the season, will be opposed by White Sox right-hander Andre Rienzo for the three-game series finale.

Milone was brilliant in his last appearance on the mound, permitting the Nationals just two hits over eight scoreless innings and striking out seven along the way.

"I think you can make the argument that's the best I've seen him throw," said catcher Derek Norris. "He was very, very good.

"I don't think he missed a location. He was fantastic. You can't really say enough about the great job he did. He mixed speeds well, he worked quick, he got ahead, he stayed ahead. That was the biggest part about his success."

The lefty had allowed 10 earned runs in his previous 10 2/3 innings, but exited with eight completed innings for the first time since July 5, 2013, using a season-high 108 pitches. It was just the third time in his career he made it at least eight innings without giving up any runs.

Milone is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts in Oakland compared with 0-3 with a 6.23 ERA in four starts on the road. Against Chicago, he's 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA in two career starts.

In contrast, Rienzo has never faced the A's, who have outscored their opponents 39-8 during a season-high six-game winning streak. But he's been doing his homework.

"I know they've got a tough team," said Rienzo. "It's a team where you want to pitch to contact. I'm just trying to do that so if they get a hit, they get a hit. If not, then I'll get an out. Something I'm working with [pitching coach] Don Cooper on is trying to pitch to contact. I'm not trying to change anything, just going to do what I have to do and make it happen."

It will mark Rienzo's sixth appearance of the season and his fifth start. He's 3-0 with a 4.76 ERA over his first four, most recently getting a win over the D-backs after allowing three runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.

White Sox: Abreu may rest Wednesday
Home run leader Jose Abreu could sit out Wednesday's series finale against the A's as he tries to rest his left ankle, which has been giving him problems since Spring Training.

The problem flared up again Thursday in a contest against the Cubs, and manager Robin Ventura has used Abreu as a designated hitter in the five games since.

On Monday, Abreu left his mark during a ninth-inning rally when he belted a home run to right field, showing off his opposite-field power.

"That's just part of his makeup and how he goes about practicing and playing," Ventura said. "He can pull it, he can hit it the other way. You see him swing a lot, so it's not like he's taking a lot of pitches. He's trying to do some damage when he goes up there."

A's: Melvin sticking with closer committee
Oakland's closer situation remains unsettled, with manager Bob Melvin saying Tuesday he's not yet ready to stray from a matchup-driven closer-by-committee approach.

The A's had hoped Jim Johnson would be back in the ninth inning on a full-time basis by now, after he lost the closer's job less than two weeks into the season, but the right-hander has allowed six runs in his last four outings -- a stretch that follows 10 consecutive scoreless appearances.

"You're always searching for the best fit, to where you feel like you have someone that's going to be the guy that closes games for you, so that everybody leading up to that has an understanding of when guys are going to pitch," said Melvin. "We're just not there yet, unfortunately.

"Jim has really made some big strides for us, but we're just not all the way there with him yet. So it's still going to probably be a matchup-type situation."

Worth noting
• A's third baseman Josh Donaldson leads the American League in go-ahead RBIs (10) and home runs with runners on base (7).

• Lefty reliever Sean Doolittle has not walked a batter in 20 innings and has a streak of 32 consecutive innings without a walk dating back to last year.

• The White Sox lead the Majors with 38 runs in the ninth inning. Oakland is next in line with 23.

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