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Dodgers get no lift against lefty

Athletics' Milone permits only three hits, and now L.A. has but three runs in its last three games.

June 21, 2012|Jim Peltz

OAKLAND — Before Nathan Eovaldi took the mound Wednesday, Manager Don Mattingly praised the 22-year-old pitcher for being "unflappable" in the face of meager run support this year.

"He hasn't complained, you don't see him getting down," Mattingly said.

Good thing, because the Dodgers again left Eovaldi with almost no cushion for error, scoring only one run against the Oakland Athletics in the right-hander's six innings of work.

That wasn't nearly good enough, as Oakland left-hander Tommy Milone tossed a three-hitter -- his first career complete game -- in the Athletics' 4-1 win at Oakland Coliseum, their second victory in the teams' three-game interleague series.

Indeed, the Dodgers' bats have suddenly gone cold. The Dodgers have scored only three runs in their last three games, and in the two games with Oakland the Dodgers have a total of five hits.

Andre Ethier went hitless in four at-bats as the designated hitter Wednesday and is hitting .179 so far in June. Catcher A.J. Ellis is batting .214 in June after hitting .333 in May.

"For the last few days we've kind of scuffled at the plate," Ellis said. "But it's not for a lack of effort."

As a result, Eovaldi (0-3) still is looking for his first victory since the Texan was called up May 29 to replace Ted Lilly in the rotation.

"We're testing him," Mattingly said, referring to the poor run support.

In addition to the three runs, Eovaldi gave up seven hits, walked three and too often had trouble putting the ball where he wanted. He needed 100 pitches to get through his six innings.

"I felt good out there, I just kind of struggled with my fastball command," Eovaldi said. "I was behind on almost every count, I felt, so it's hard to work that way."

The Dodgers scored their run in the second inning when Juan Rivera singled, moved to second base on Bobby Abreu's groundout and scored when Juan Uribe hit a fly ball that Oakland right fielder Josh Reddick couldn't hold as he somersaulted on the grass.

Oakland tied the game in the fourth inning when designated hitter Yoenis Cespedes doubled off the left-field wall and Seth Smith followed with a double to the left-center field gap that deflected off Tony Gwynn Jr.'s glove, scoring Cespedes.

Eric Sogard singled to open the fifth inning and Coco Crisp walked. Jemile Weeks then bunted to Eovaldi, who took a split second to look at third base for a possible forceout, then threw too late to first base to get Weeks.

"We need to take that out there," Mattingly said. "We gave them an extra base right there."

With the bases now loaded, Sogard scored when Reddick grounded into a double play, and Cespedes' single drove in Crisp for a 3-1 lead.

Brandon Moss added a solo home run against Dodgers reliever Scott Elbert in the eighth inning for Oakland's fourth run.

james.peltz@latimes.com

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