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A's Vs. RiverCats: Tom Milone Named 3rd Starter After 6 Perfect Innings In 9-0 Exhibition Win

The Oakland Athletics officially opened up the 2012 MLB season with a pair of games against the Seattle Mariners. Now that they are tied for first place in the AL West, it is time for ... uh ... more exhibition games.

On Saturday, the A's played a game against their Triple A affiliate the Sacramento RiverCats at Raley Field in Sacramento. The game was an extremely one-sided affair that was called after the seventh inning due to rain. The A's were named the winners in the 9-0 contest.

Starting pitcher Tom Milone pitched six perfect innings, allowing no baserunners while striking out six. Coco Crisp and Josh Donaldson hit home runs in the winning effort.

The starter for the RiverCats, right-hander Jarrod Parker, did not fare quite as well as Milone, giving up six runs (three earned) in two innings pitched. A's manager Bob Melvin had stated that the bottom of the Oakland rotation is not yet set in stone and Parker is still a candidate for one of the slots.

But Parker likely did not do himself many favors in Saturday's outing.

After the game, Melvin did not hesitate in naming lefty Milone the A's third starter for the season.

It will be exciting to watch Milone's progress throughout the year. Elsewhere in the rotation news, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Dallas Braden -- whose timeline to rejoin the team was sometime in May -- has suffered a setback in his rehab and has strained his shoulder. The team is uncertain at this time how much this will extend his rehab and are waiting to hear back from doctors.

For more on the Oakland A's and their season opener in Japan, head on over to Athletics Nation.

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