Though Garrett Richards has filled in nicely since ace Jered Weaver went on the disabled list, the Los Angeles Angels have sunk to the bottom of the AL with a team ERA even one of baseball's most expensive offenses can't regularly overcome.
After a wild 19-inning affair in the series opener, Richards opposes Parker as the AL West rivals continue their three-game set Tuesday night in Oakland.
Los Angeles had a 3.11 ERA through its first five games, but since Weaver suffered a broken left elbow April 7 in a loss to Texas, it has posted a 5.08 ERA and ranks last in the AL with a 4.69 overall mark.
Richards (1-1, 3.65 ERA) has gone 1-1 with a 3.98 ERA in three starts after entering the rotation. He yielded just two hits while striking out a career high-tying eight in seven innings of a 10-0 win over Detroit on April 20.
His numbers weren't great Thursday - giving up five runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 6-0 loss to Seattle - but manager Mike Scioscia liked what he saw."I thought Garrett pitched much better than his line scores will show," Scioscia said. "As far as him getting after it and the movement on his pitches, he was terrific. It didn't work out, but I thought he pitched a strong game."
The right-hander has never started against the A's, pitching 2 2-3 innings of scoreless relief over three appearances last season, and he'll look to keep Oakland at bay while trying to avoid overtaxing his bullpen.
Los Angeles (9-16), which added Josh Hamilton in the offseason to a lineup already featuring Albert Pujols , Mark Trumbo and 2012 AL Rookie of the Year and MVP runner-up Mike Trout , has already lost five times when scoring at least five runs.
Pujols went 4 for 8 with a pair of homers after going 3 for 31 over his previous eight games, and Trumbo added a solo shot and three RBIs, but the Angels fell 10-8 when Brandon Moss hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 19th - his second of the contest - in the longest game in the history of each franchise."It was a crazy game and I'm glad it's over," Moss said. "That was exhausting, it really was."
Hamilton went 0 for 8 to drop his average to .202, and he's 0 for 10 with seven strikeouts lifetime against Parker, who is battling his own struggles.
The Angels will likely have a new center fielder and leadoff hitter for this game after Peter Bourjos strained his left hamstring running out a sacrifice bunt in the 10th inning, and the Athletics had outfielders Coco Crisp and Chris Young leave with lower-body muscle strains as well."It stinks to play this long into the night and come out on the wrong end," Bourjos said.
The A's (15-12) have a 4.28 team ERA, though Parker (0-4, 8.10) appeared to be getting back on track after a solid outing in a 1-0 defeat at Tampa Bay on April 20. However, he gave up six runs and eight hits while walking three in 5 1-3 innings of Thursday's 10-2 loss to Baltimore.
He is attempting to remain positive, though he Tweeted that he was heckled by Oakland fans during his bullpen session prior to Saturday's home loss to the Orioles.
"There's certainly things he's always working on, maybe a little bit more specifically now," manager Bob Melvin told the team's official website.
The right-hander had a tough outing versus the Angels on April 9, giving up two runs and nine hits in only 3 1-3 innings of the Athletics' 9-5 victory.
Jason Donaldson, 2 for 2 with a double lifetime off Richards, is 15 for 29 with 12 RBIs over his last eight games.
|Los Angeles Angels|
|April 27, 2013||Sean Burnett||15-Day DL||Left forearm irritation|
|April 20, 2013||Mark Lowe||15-Day DL||Neck stiffness|
|April 13, 2013||Kevin Jepsen||15-Day DL||Right triceps tightness|
|April 12, 2013||Alberto Callaspo||15-Day DL||Right calf tightness|
|April 11, 2013||Alberto Callaspo||Day-to-Day||Calf|
|April 10, 2013||Erick Aybar||15-Day DL||Bruised left heel|
|April 19, 2013||Brett Anderson||Day-to-Day||Ankle|
|April 13, 2013||Yoenis Cespedes||15-Day DL||Strained muscle, left hand|
|April 13, 2013||Yoenis Cespedes||15-Day DL||Strained muscle, left hand|
|April 12, 2013||Coco Crisp||Day-to-Day||Strained left groin|
|April 10, 2013||Scott Sizemore||60-Day DL||Torn left ACL - out for season|
|April 07, 2013||Josh Reddick||Day-to-Day||Sprained right wrist|
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Yoenis Cespedes didn't get much sleep after playing in the longest major league game of the season, so the Oakland cleanup hitter found an energy drink to get him going.
It obviously did the trick - much like the Cuban slugger has done for the Athletics since he arrived last season.
Cespedes drove in four runs, Seth Smith knocked in three with a bases-loaded double and the A's beat the Los Angeles Angels 10-6 on Tuesday night.
"The reason I was so good was because when I got here, I drank a Red Bull," said Cespedes, who doubled and tripled to pace Oakland's 10-hit outburst. "I was ready for the game."
One night after outlasting the Angels 10-8 in a 19-inning classic that lasted 6 1/2 hours, the A's had a few problems defensively but looked just fine at the plate while beating Los Angeles for the fifth consecutive time this season.
Cespedes led the way with two towering drives that hit the extended portion of the outfield wall at the Coliseum, but Oakland got plenty of production from the rest of its lineup as well.
Smith, Derek Norris and Eric Sogard also had two hits apiece while Jarrod Parker (1-4) pitched into the seventh inning for Oakland, which has won 13 straight against AL West teams.
Not bad considering most of the players from both clubs didn't get to bed until nearly 4 a.m.
"We pounded the coffee, tried to get that caffeine and get our legs underneath us," Norris said. "We had guys banged up so a couple of us at the bottom of the order had to step it up and create some havoc on the basepaths and set it up for the top of the order."
Mike Trout drove in four runs and Mark Trumbo homered for the second straight game for the Angels. Los Angeles fell to 9-17, the worst start in franchise history.
The Angels are 0-5 against Oakland for the first time since 1990.
"We have to find a way to get leads, hold leads and win ballgames even when you're not as deep as you need to be," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "We have a lot of things on the pitching side that we're trying to work through and get a little more continuity from our starters and our bullpen."
Playing in his third game since coming off the disabled list, Cespedes had an RBI double in the fourth, a two-run triple in the fifth and a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
The A's are 3-0 since getting their cleanup hitter back. Before his return, Oakland had dropped eight of nine.
"His bat is huge," Parker said. "He's a complete player. Having him in the lineup, he makes everybody else comfortable around him."
Unlike Monday's game in which the teams combined to use 16 pitchers, neither manager had to go too deep into the bullpen despite shaky outings from both starters.
Parker allowed four runs and walked three while the Angels' Garrett Richards (1-2) gave up seven runs in 5 2-3 innings.
Both teams were also sluggish on defense early.
Oakland committed two errors in the third, leading to the Angels' first run. J.B. Shuck reached on an infield single and went to second when third baseman Josh Donaldson threw wildly to first. Erick Aybar 's groundout moved Shuck to third and he scored when shortstop Adam Rosales made a throwing error on Trout's grounder.
Los Angeles returned the favor in the fourth.
Cespedes doubled in Smith and went to third when Aybar's throw home bounced past catcher Hank Conger and went to the backstop. Aybar was activated from the disabled list before the game.
Cespedes then scored on a wild pitch by Richards to put Oakland ahead 2-1.
Trout put the Angels in front 3-2 with a two-run double in the fourth. Richards, a reliever at the start of the season, couldn't make it hold up.
John Jaso hit an RBI double in the fifth to drive in Norris with the tying run. After Rosales walked, Cespedes tripled off the wall in left-center to give the A's a 5-3 lead.
Oakland loaded the bases in the sixth to chase Richards. Nick Maronde 's wild pitch allowed Norris to score from third, and Smith followed with his bases-clearing double to right that made it 9-3.
Parker threw in the A's bullpen to stay warm during the top of the sixth but left after giving up a leadoff walk to Aybar in the seventh.
Evan Scribner , Sean Doolittle and closer Grant Balfour pitched the final three innings for Oakland.
Trout hit an RBI triple off Scribner and scored on Albert Pujols ' groundout. Trumbo - whose mammoth home run a night earlier still had Coliseum security guards buzzing 24 hours later - followed with his fifth of the season, a solo shot that cut the gap to 9-6.
Sogard singled leading off the eighth for Oakland and scored on Cespedes' sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Maronde was optioned to Double-A Arkansas after the game. ... Trout has 14 RBIs over his last 13 games after driving in just two through the Angels' first 13 games. ... The Angels placed OF Peter Bourjos (left hamstring strain) on the 15-day disabled list and optioned LHP Michael Roth to Arkansas. The team also selected the contract of OF Scott Cousins from Triple-A Salt Lake. ... Scribner was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento before the game when Oakland optioned RHP Dan Straily to the minors. ... Angels INF Alberto Callaspo (right calf strain) could come off the DL as early as Thursday. ... Los Angeles RHP Jared Weaver (left elbow) is playing catch every day but there is no timetable for when he'll get back on a mound. ... A pair of lefties square off in the series finale. C.J. Wilson (2-0), who has a career ERA of 3.70 against the A's, pitches for the Angels while Tommy Milone (3-2) goes for Oakland.