Milone enters Saturday, his first career start against the Twins, having allowed one earned run or fewer in each of his last four starts. He has a 2-1 record and 0.96 ERA over that span, with 22 strikeouts and just two walks.
"I tell myself when I go out there, I'm not trying to strike people out," Milone said following his last start on July 6 against the Mariners. "I feel if I make good pitches, then strikeouts can come. I'm a guy that likes to get early contact and get the hitter out of there early."
Opposing Milone will be Twins right-hander Cole De Vries, who's making his sixth career start. De Vries, who is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA this season, threw five shutout innings while allowing only two hits when he faced the A's on May 29.
De Vries is also coming off the best start of his career, after throwing seven shutout innings against the Rangers on Sunday. He allowed just three hits.
"I'm feeling pretty good right now, especially after a good outing against the Rangers like that," De Vries said. "I don't know how you can't feel good about yourself."
With the Twins having lost five of their last six games dating back to before the All-Star break, the righty will try to get Minnesota back on track.
"You never know what you're going to get right after the break," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Hopefully they're into it right away. You just don't know. Just take it, starts with our pitcher. If he's throwing it over, it gives us a chance. We'll go from there."
Athletics: Cespedes playing with sprained thumb
Yoenis Cespedes' sprained left thumb didn't keep him out of the starting lineup on Friday, but it did put him in the designated-hitter position.
"He probably could play the outfield, but we'll try to take it slowly," manager Bob Melvin said. "It's a little bit more of an issue putting his glove on than it is wrapping around a bat and hitting. Whether or not he's in the outfield tomorrow, there's probably a good chance of that."
Cespedes was pulled from Sunday's game against the Mariners after the third inning when he injured his thumb after sliding into second on a successful stolen-base attempt in the first inning.
Twins: Capps returns from disabled list
Matt Capps was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on Friday, but he may not immediately take over his closer role.
Capps had been out since June 24 with right shoulder inflammation. As a result of Capps' return, the Twins optioned right-hander Kyle Waldrop to Triple-A Rochester. Capps made two rehab appearances for Class A Advanced Fort Myers, allowing one unearned run on one hit in two innings.
"It felt pretty nice," he said. "I woke up the next morning and it wasn't too bad. It will be nice to get back up here and get back into it."
The A's have won seven out of their last eight games and are above .500 for the first time since May 21, when they were 22-21. After losing a season-high nine games in late May and early June, Oakland is 21-13 over its last 34 games.
Both Trevor Plouffe and Justin Morneau extended their hitting streaks to 11 games with 1-for-4 performances on Friday.