OAKLAND COLISEUM — 2013 couldn’t have started any worse for young Jarrod Parker.
He has yet to win a game this season, and Thursday night, his struggles continued.
The Orioles scored three runs in the third and ten unanswered runs to embarrass the A’s 10-2. Nate McLouth, Chris Davis, and Nick Markakis each had two hits, scored two runs, and had two RBI.
Parker labored for 5-1/3 innings, surrendered six runs on eight hits, walked three and struck out five. The second-year right-hander is 0-4 with a 8.10 ERA in five starts.
A’s manager Bob Melvin isn’t quite sure why Parker lacks consistency:
Athletics manager Bob Melvin
“If we knew exactly, certainly you’d try to put your finger on it and address it in bullpens (between outings). It just seems at times he just gets a little out of sync and … then all of the sudden gets behind three or four hitters in a row and walks a guy and maybe has trouble coming back…”
It was especially painful to watch the A’s anemic offense be limited to just six hits and two runs.
It took 3:15 to complete nine innings. Much of the lethargy could be explained by both teams having to travel cross-country from the East Coast. The Orioles made their trek west from Baltimore, while the A’s flew from Boston.
The O’s haven’t played well at the Coliseum since July 11, 2003. Counting Thursday night’s win, their record is just 10-29. McLouth says a few factors — including travel — might account for that:
Orioles left fielder Nate McLouth
“It seems like any team that comes out here especially the first couple of games of a road trip are tough for some reason. The time change is part of it, all that stuff but we were able to put up a good one tonight.”
The A’s scored both of their two runs in the second inning. Brandon Moss reached on a fielding error by shortstop J.J. Hardy, then Josh Reddick walked.
With two outs, Josh Donaldson hit a line drive that hit off the heel of the center fielder Adam Jones’ glove. The hit — ruled a double — brought in Moss and Reddick.
In later innings the A’s managed to get a runner to third base but none scored.
The rest of the game belonged to the O’s, who added on a single run in the fifth and two runs in the 6th, 7th, and 8th.
It was an intimate gathering of 11,220 announced, but more likely, around 7,000 fans all headed for the exits after the 7th inning stretch.
The A’s bullpen wasn’t much better than their starter either. Chris Resop allowed two of Parker’s inherited runners to score in his 2/3 innings of work.
Pat Neshek allowed two of the runners on base to score when he came into a bases-loaded situation and nobody out in the 7th.
Then it was Jesse Chavez’s turn. In his two innings of mop-up relief he gave up four hits and two runs.
Oakland mounted a bit of a rally with two outs in the ninth when Josh Donaldson singled through the hole at short and Adam Rosales singled to right putting runners at the corners, but Coco Crisp popped out to second to finally end a miserable night.
The A’s went 1-5 on their East Coast road trip to Tampa Bay and Boston, and this wasn’t the way to start their six-game homestand. Melvin said:
“We didn’t have a great trip. We had one really good game and then we lose a tough one the next day where we played pretty well. We just gave up some middle inning runs again and then just had a stinker tonight. You just try to put it past you and come back and be confident you’re going to win tomorrow.”
The Athletics have lost six of the last seven games and are 4-8 since their season long nine-game win streak. … Their 13-10 record is still sixth best in the American League. … Parker’s four game losing streak is the longest of his career. … A’s starting pitchers are 5-8 with a 6.12 ERA (58 earned runs in 85-1/3 innings) over the last 16 games. … Jed Lowrie has 31 hits, just two shy of the Oakland record of 33 for April set by Stan Javier in 1994 and matched by Ben Grieve in 1998. … The Orioles’ 10 runs scored is a season high. Baltimore has won 101 consecutive regular season games when leading after seven innings. According to Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the second-longest streak for any team since 1961 (116 wins by NY Yankees in 1998-1999). The Orioles’ last loss when leading after seven innings was August 8, 2011.