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A's hope to continue playoff push with series win over O's
(Sports Network) - After the Oakland Athletics captured a dramatic ninth- inning win on Saturday night over the Baltimore Orioles, the series will be decided with a rubber match on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.
The teams were locked in a pitcher's duel for the majority of Saturday's contest. The game was tied in the ninth inning, 1-1, before Coco Crisp delivered the game-winning solo home run to give the A's a 2-1 win.
Crisp has now homered in three straight games to give him 13 on the season. Jed Lowrie was also an integral part of the victory, going 2-for-3 with an RBI double in the sixth.
Jarrod Parker (10-6) was outstanding in the win, pitching eight strong innings, allowing one earned run while striking out five. The 24-year-old right-hander has now won eight consecutive decisions dating back to May 22.
"It was good to reward Jarrod because, boy, he pitched about as good as you can pitch," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said.
Baltimore starter Chris Tillman was able to match Parker pitch-for-pitch and then some, yielding just three hits, two walks and one earned run over eight innings of work while striking out nine. Darren O'Day (5-3) served up the home run ball to Crisp and was handed the loss.
"It's frustrating," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We end up on the losing side, but watching two guys at the top of their craft matching each other, you knew there was going to be a fine margin of error."
Ryan Flaherty deposited his eighth home run of the season in the third inning for the Orioles' only run. Manny Machado added his major league-leading 44th double in the setback.
On Sunday afternoon, the Athletics will turn to Sonny Gray, who has emerged as one of the league's most dynamic young arms. The 2011 first-round pick has pitched great through his first 25 big league innings, going 1-1 with a 1.44 ERA with 27 strikeouts.
The 23-year-old has made three starts in August and has allowed two earned runs or less in all three outings. On Aug. 20, he pitched seven innings of two-hit ball, allowing two earned runs and striking out seven, but he ended with a no-decision as the Athletics eventually lost to the Mariners, 7-4.
"With any of our guys, when they're getting (batters) out, they're going to stay in," Athletics pitching coach Curt Young said of the treatment of Gray going forward as the team pushes towards the playoffs. "We're never going to get crazy with the pitch count. (Gray's) got nice composure. Nothing seems to bother him."
Gray's major league success hasn't been a huge surprise considering his solid campaign at Triple-A Sacramento prior to his call up (10-7, 3.42 ERA, 118 strikeouts in 118 1/3 innings)
Scott Feldman will take the hill for the Orioles. The veteran right-hander has had a solid season overall, going 10-9 with a 3.94 ERA, but he's seen a down- tick in production since being traded from the Cubs in early July, as he's gone just 3-3 with a 4.84 ERA with his new team.
After going winless in his previous three outings, Feldman bounced back nicely in an Aug. 18 victory over the Rockies, allowing only five hits and two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Feldman has seen plenty of action against the Athletics during his career, but in 77 2/3 innings he boasts a bloated 6.37 ERA.
The Orioles won three of four games played in Oakland from April 25-28 this season.
08/25 07:36:59 ET