Jarrod Parker pitched the first complete game of his career Monday night, but needed a a little magic in the bottom of the the ninth inning to help him earn the win.
That magic was supplied by the bat of Brandon Moss, who hit a shot over the wall in dead center field that won the game for the A’s in walk-off fashion for a 2-1 victory.
With Bartolo Colon going on the 15-day disabled list due to a groin injury, it is evident that Parker is filling the shoes of the “ace” role of the pitching staff.
“We needed a performance like that today, and he came up big time for us. He’s the guy that’s pitching the best right now and we feel great about him,” said Bob Melvin.
After going 8.1 innings Wednesday, Parker threw nine innings on the evening, making it two consecutive starts that the righty has pitched the furthest into a game in his Major League tenure.
In a true pitcher’s duel of a game between Parker and Seattle’s Aaron Harang, where the game went into the ninth inning in a 1-1 tie, the A’s needed a big hit to reward their starting pitcher’s excellent performance.
Moss was that guy, launching a low fastball over the fence in a renowned pitcher’s ballpark.
“We’ve got a couple guys on the team where it doesn’t matter what ballpark you’re in, if they square it up it’s going to be gone,” said Melvin about Moss.
The starting pitching remains to be the strength of the team recently for Oakland as they have a 2.47 ERA over their last nine games entering Monday night. The bats remain the problem for the A’s, as they are batting a fourth-lowest in the AL .244 on the season.
However, with 71 wins on the season already, Oakland has put themselves in playoff contention, and are far better off than the position that they were in a year ago when they went on a hot streak to win the AL west.
The A’s have won four out of their last five games and after a brief slump have cut the Rangers’ lead in the AL west to 0.5 games.
Next up for Oakland will be top-prospect rookie pitcher Sonny Gray (1-1, 1.00), coming off of his first career win, taking the hill against Joe Saunders (10-12, 4.87) Tuesday night at 7:05.