After the A’s belted three home runs in yesterday’s win over the Yankees, Jarrod Parker gave up four Monday night to the Cleveland Indians, and the Oakland Athletics fell to the Tribe 7-3 in the first matchup of a four-game series.
Parker’s performance was another head-scratcher for anyone trying to figure out what’s ailing the right-hander. The mistakes he made on the home runs were evident as each pitch was left up in the strike zone, but he also displayed enough command to strike out seven batters, and the Indians never really put together a rally to put baserunners in scoring position against him. Each home run came with no one on base.
Ubaldo Jimenez got the win for the Indians, and the right-hander stifled the A’s offense early. He finished the day with eight strikeouts, three walks and only four hits.
It looked like it’d be a long night for Parker when he gave up back-to-back dingers to Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera with one out in the first, but he gathered himself and only allowed three hits until the fifth, when Cabrera led off with his second homer of the game and Mark Reynolds added another after a Nick Swisher strikeout.
The A’s garnered a couple runs of their own, provided by Yoenis Cespedes, who hit a solo home run in the fourth and a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make it 4-2 when Chris Resop entered the game in the bottom half of the inning. Oakland could’ve done more damage, as they loaded the bases with two outs for Josh Reddick following Cespedes’ RBI, but Reddick struck out looking and was not happy about it, tossing his bat behind his head to emphasize his frustration with umpire Angel Hernandez’s liberal strike zone.
That strike zone worked to the A’s detriment in the bottom of the seventh, when Resop issued walks to Cabrera and Swisher before getting the second out of the inning on a ground out that advanced both runners. After intentionally walking Carlos Santana to load the bases, Resop got the count to 0-2 against Jason Giambi and seemingly threw a third strike that was called for a ball, and from there Giambi battled back to a full count and hit a single to shallow center field to score two runs, knocking Resop out of the game. Evan Scribner came in from the bullpen and gave up an RBI double to Ryan Raburn to make it 7-2 before getting Drew Stubbs to ground out to end the inning.
That would effectively seal the win for Cleveland, although Josh Donaldson made it 7-3 on a two-out RBI single in the eighth that scored Brandon Moss, who had doubled in the previous at-bat.
The two teams are back in action tomorrow at 4:05 PST, with Tommy Milone going up against Zach McAllister in the pitching matchup.