Oakland Athletics (12-5) at Tampa Bay Rays (6-10), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Jarrod Parker (0-2, 10.80)
Tampa Bay - Jeremy Hellickson (0-1, 4.91)
(Sports Network) - Oakland right-hander Jarrod Parker hopes to put his slow
start behind him on Saturday night as the Athletics continue a three-game
series with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Parker went 13-8 with a 3.47 earned run average in 29 starts as a rookie last
season, but the 24-year-old has gone 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA through his first
three outings of 2013. He has sandwiched his two losses around a no-decision
and has lasted just 3 1/3 innings in each of his past two starts.
The 2007 first-round pick was touched for eight runs on nine hits and two
walks in a 10-1 setback to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
"Parker was trying to pound the zone early on with the fastball. He was, but
they were just hitting. It's puzzling when he gets hit because his stuff is so
good," A's manager Bob Melvin said.
Looking for his first career victory over the Rays, Parker went 0-1 with a
4.50 ERA in two starts against them last year.
Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson is also looking to beat his opponent for the
first time as he is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in four previous meetings with the
The 26-year-old righty is seeking his first win of 2013, but has been getting
better as the season has gone on. He yielded five runs over 6 1/3 innings of a
no-decision versus Baltimore on April 3, lost in Texas five days later after
giving up three runs over five innings and was solid on Monday at Boston in a
Hellickson held the Red Sox to a pair of runs over seven innings of his club's
3-2 loss, fanning nine. He did, however, allow his fourth homer already this
The Rays will hope to string together back-to-back wins for only the second
time this season after taking Friday's opener with the A's 8-3 thanks to some
Jose Lobaton drove in a pair of runs during Tampa Bay's four-run first inning,
while Evan Longoria added a two-run homer later in the game. Ben Zobrist also
drove in a pair of runs in the victory, just the Rays' third in 11 games as
they were coming off a 2-7 road trip.
They haven't won back-to-back games since beating Cleveland on April 5-6.
Alex Cobb made the offense stick by scattering three runs and 10 hits over 7
1/3 innings to get the victory.
"I had a bunch of pitches working for me tonight and that let me keep them off
balance," said Cobb. "They're an aggressive team at the plate and when you can
get strikes on them early that opens things up for you on the mound."
Oakland starter Brett Anderson lasted just one inning due to a strained right
ankle, allowing four runs on four hits and two walks while needing 36 pitches
to get through the first frame. Evan Scribner followed Anderson and also gave
up four runs over three innings as the A's had their three-game winning streak
"I thought he was more aggressive today but they hit some pitches and he got
behind in the count with some hitters," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin about
Anderson. "It was just a tough night for him and they're going to happen."
The setback was just Oakland's third in its past 15 games and the first in
seven on the road this season.
Jed Lowrie went 4-for-4 with an RBI to highlight Oakland's offense. Lowrie and
Brandon Moss both recorded run-scoring singles in the top of the first, but
the Rays never trailed after plating four runs in their half of the inning.