SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Tommy Milone put together his best performance of the spring on Saturday, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
The lefty has been auditioning for a rotation spot all spring, but it wasn't until Friday, when the A's revealed they're likely to start the season without starters Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin, did it become a realistic scenario.
All Milone did Saturday was throw five scoreless innings against the host Giants, giving up three hits and two walks with two strikeouts along the way.
"I worked in the two-seamer a lot more today and felt I was getting a lot of ground balls with it," said Milone, who added the pitch to his repertoire this spring. "I was keeping it low in the zone, so that was good. Keep them on the ground was basically what I was trying to do. It kind of complements my changeup, I think. I can kind of feed off both of them, depending on which one's working that day."
The pitch has given Milone added confidence in his quest to rejoin the rotation. He realizes his window of opportunity has widened, in the wake of his teammates' injuries, but he isn't about to take that for granted.
"I still have to go out there and compete," he said. "I have to throw the ball well and give them a reason to put me in the rotation.
"When two guys go down, it's not ideal, but I think as a team, we're grateful for the depth that we have. We feel like we have multiple candidates that can do the job."
A's launch 'Green Collar Baseball' campaign
PHOENIX -- The fifth season of Oakland's "Green Collar Baseball" marketing campaign was revealed on Saturday, with plenty of laughs to go around yet again.
Sean Doolittle instructs his coaches on social media's best practices, and Josh Donaldson engages in a therapy session with a tarp -- the same one he tumbled over while making a tremendous catch last season -- in the newest round of A's commercials.
Doolittle, Donaldson, Jarrod Parker, Sonny Gray and Derek Norris also find new uses for the home run tunnel celebration, and the always talkative Brandon Moss proves just how much of a weapon his mouth can be at first base.
Several of these commercials will begin rolling out March 20.
"This is our fifth year doing this with the A's, and I really think these are the most fun spots we've done to date," said DJ O'Neill, founder and CEO of Hub Strategy, the A's advertising agency.
"We feel that this year's TV commercials may be our best ever," added Jim Leahey, A's vice president of sales and marketing, "and we are confident that our fans will enjoy connecting with the fun personalities of our players."
The campaign is a fully-integrated program that features not only television commercials but also print, outdoor and digital advertisements. One spot, as outfielder Josh Reddick makes a catch, reads "He takes the warning track as more of a suggestion." Another, featuring Yoenis Cespedes, says, "Designated driver."
In a media viewing at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Saturday, the A's and Hub Strategy also shared a handful of commercial bloopers. A's manager Bob Melvin had one of the best lines, in one scene asking Doolittle, "Can I blog from my blueberry?" rather than, "Can I blog from my Blackberry?"
Gentry still out with lower back strain
PHOENIX -- Craig Gentry was still missing from action when his former Rangers club paid a visit to Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Saturday.
The new A's outfielder has yet to make his Cactus League debut because of a lower back strain he suffered on the first day of workouts, but that time could finally come next week it seems.
Gentry is scheduled to take part in coaches' batting practice on Sunday, putting him that much closer to game action.
It remains to be seen whether he'll be Opening Day-ready, but the A's are hopeful that's the case. If not, Sam Fuld or Michael Taylor will fill in as the club's fourth outfielder.
• Lefty Drew Pomeranz, still in the mix for a bullpen spot as a long reliever, wowed the crowd at Scottsdale Stadium on Saturday, striking out five in just two innings.
• Right-hander Ryan Cook continues to progress from his bout with shoulder inflammation, and he's scheduled to throw live batting practice to hitters on Sunday. He could make his Cactus League debut by the end of next week.