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Athletics pound Brew crew

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MILWAUKEE >> Tommy Milone was a force at the plate and on the mound.

Milone took advantage of a rare chance to bat in an interleague road game, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored in helping the surging Oakland Athletics to a 10-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.

The two-hit game by Milone was the first for an Oakland pitcher since June 2009.

“It’s fun. It’s something different that we get to do a few times a year,” he said.

A’s manager Bob Melvin pointed out that Milone hit a grand slam in his first major league at-bat.

“When he takes batting practice, he looks like a hitter,” Melvin said. “Seems like every at-bat he’s had this year, even in spring training, was a good at-bat.”

Coco Crisp had a leadoff homer among his four hits for the A’s, who have won four consecutive games and 15 of 17 to move a season-high 11 over .500 at 35-24.

Athletics catcher John Jaso praised Milone’s poise at the plate.

“He swings the bat well. He came through with runners on,” Jaso said. “His highlight was in the batter’s box, but he pitched well, too.”

Milone (6-5) allowed five hits, struck out four and

didn’t issue a walk in seven strong innings. He retired his first eight batters before pitcher Marco Estrada blooped a two-out single in the third.

“He’s pitched pretty well for us. He’s a consistent guy who does basically the same thing most times out,” Melvin said. “He wants to make sure he doesn’t walk guys or put guys on base when one home run could get them back in the game in a hurry.”

Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said Milone showed fine control.

“He had real good command on the fastball and a great change-up,” Roenicke said. “He mixed in his curveball when he needed to.”

The long ball sparked the A’s to a quick 2-0 lead.

Crisp, who reached base five times in six plate appearances, got them started with his 10th career leadoff homer. Brandon Moss belted a solo shot with one out in the second to end an 0-for-11 slump.

Oakland broke it open in the fifth, when it sent 11 batters to the plate. A double by Jed Lowrie drove in a run. Josh Donaldson knocked in another with a single off reliever Burke Badenhop, who entered after Estrada left with an injury. Josh Reddick followed with an RBI single.

Milone helped his own cause with a base hit that scored a run for a 6-0 margin. Jaso added a single, his second of the inning, to drive in two more and push the Oakland lead to eight runs.

The A’s finished with seven hits in the fifth, their most in an inning this season.

The Brewers put an end to the shutout bid in the fifth when Rickie Weeks hit a two-run homer.

Estrada (4-3) lasted four innings, giving up five runs and nine hits. He struck out three and walked one. He departed with a left hamstring strain after giving up the run-scoring double to Lowrie in the fifth. The Brewers said Estrada is day to day.

“To think that he’s going to pitch again in five days, I don’t know if he can do that,” Roenicke said.

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