Parker falters in fifth as rookie can't match Greinke in A's loss

Parker falters in fifth as rookie can't match Greinke in A's loss
September 5, 2012, 6:37 am
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OAKLAND For four innings, rookie Jarrod Parker tradedzeroes with a former Cy Young Award winner in Zack Greinke.But the fifth inning has spelled doom for Parker in many previous starts, andTuesday was no different. Parker allowed the games first run in the fifth,gave up a second in the sixth, and the As bullpen didnt do him any favors, asthe Angels added four insurance runs to roll to a 6-1 win.Parker gave up his fifth-inning run on three singles and has now allowed 20 ofhis 61 runs in that fateful frame. That means 32.8 of the runs opponents scoreagainst Parker come in the fifth.As manager Bob Melvin said he was unaware of the numbers, but wasnt ready tocall it a trend.I dont see a trend there, Melvin said. Maybe the numbers would suggestthat, but I havent seen anything that would suggest a fifth-inning problem forhim.What about Parker? His explanation:Its just probably the hitters making an adjustment and mebeing a little bit behind and not making a quick enough adjustment.Fifth-inning blemishes aside, Parker put together an impressive outing. Melvinwill take two runs in seven innings, especially from a rookie in September, anyday.He threw the ball well, Melvin said. Weve got to scoresome runs to win the game. But all in all I thought he threw really well.Unfortunately for Melvin, Parker and the As, Greinke threw better. Greinkegave up a solo shot to Brandon Moss, a double to Seth Smith and two duck-snortsingles in his seven innings of work. The As looked lost at the plate the restof the time. Obviously hes got great stuff and you know that when anyof those guys over there go out to the mound, you have to be on your game andbasically go blow for blow, Parker said. And we tried to do that and we did apretty good job of it early.The As struggled against Greinke less than a month aftertagging him for four runs in five innings in his third start as an Angel onAugust 8. They worked five walks off him in the second inning alone. He was adifferent pitcher Tuesday.A lot better than we saw him last time, Melvin said. He had better commandof his fastball, you know, speed you up, slow you down. He just had us offbalance all night. Other than Moss home run, we didnt get too many goodswings.Moss home run to lead off the seventh made the score 2-1and brought some life to the sparse Coliseum crowd, but the As bullpen allowedtwo runs in both the eighth and ninth innings to put the game essentially outof reach.The two eighth-inning runs were charged to Sean Doolittle, who was welcomed tothe game with a sharp line drive off his shin. To add insult to injury, theshin burger ricocheted into the outfield for a leadoff single for AlbertPujols. Melvin and the As trainers checked on Doolittle, but determined he wasfine to remain in the game. Doolittle may have been better off icing his leg onthe bench, as he gave up a double and another single before handing the ballover to Melvin with the As trailing 4-1.Hes a little sore, Melvin said. It got him pretty good.He was alright to pitch, certainly with the adrenaline and everything. Wellsee how he is tomorrow.Tomorrow, the As wrap up their series with the Angels andwill look to avoid their first sweep since falling to the Diamondbacks in threestraight contests in Arizona from June 8-10. Salvaging a win in the home seriesis especially important considering the As play 16 of their next 19 games awayfrom Oakland.We dont want to get swept by these guys at home, Melvinsaid. I think each and every game is important here in September. But theycome in and take the first two games from us; I think its just as important towin the game tomorrow to not get swept by them, let alone a homeroad issue.A dejected Parker stood at his locker in the clubhouse after the game and tooksolace in the fact that the As have Brandon McCarthy on the mound for thematinee series finale on Wednesday. We dont want to be on the losing end of anything, Parkersaid. And I think when we send Mac out tomorrow, we have a pretty good chanceof taking a game. And every game is important at this point.

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