This was the type of game that frustrated the Athletics and all of their fans from the very beginning. Jarrod Parker has been an enigma since this season began, and tonight was no different. Typically the problems surrounding Parker have dealt with his command issues and inability to keep the ball in the strike zone, tonight though he simply could not keep the Indians in the ballpark.
The Tribe stormed out of the gates with two solo home runs in the bottom of the 1st inning by Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera. Parker would get a little wild, hitting Mark Reynolds with a pitch before retiring the side. Reynolds would be heard from again in the bottom of the 5th when he followed Asdrubal Cabrera’s second homer of the game with a tape measure shot estimated around 460 feet. Reynolds admired his shot a la Yoenis Cespedes, but when you hit a shot like that I think you’ve earned the right to survey your work.
The 4 home runs Parker allowed matched his season total for 2013. Parker lasted 5 innings, allowing the 4 ER off the solo homers, he gave up 7 hits altogether, he walked 2, and struck out 7 in taking the loss.
The A’s were never able to take advantage of a predictably wild Ubaldo Jimenez either, definitely taking part of the blame for this loss. Ubaldo allowed 4 hits and 3 walks in his 5.2 innings of work, and was on the ropes as he exited the game. The bases had been loaded after the A’s scored their second run on a sacrifice fly by Yoenis Cespedes, but the struggling Josh Reddick came to bat with a chance to break through his funk. He was dispatched by the lefty Nick Hagadone on 3 pitches, and a possibly questionable called strike 3 that Reddick didn’t agree with and made his feelings known.
Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez had a questionable strike zone all evening, but his calls worked to the benefit and detriment of both teams, so no one can cry foul. Bottom line, the team has to make plays and have quality at bats in order for good things to happen, and they didn’t.
The offense was primarily on the shoulders of Yoenis Cespedes, who hit his 6th home run of the season, to make it a 2-1 game at the time. His sac fly in the 6th made it a 4-2 game. Josh Donaldson would give the A’s their 3rd run of the game on an RBI single in what would amount to garbage time, to make it a 7-3 game, which would be tonight’s final score.
Cespedes with his 2 RBI, and Brandon Moss with his 2 for 4 night would highlight the offense for the Athletics tonight. Donaldson’s RBI single was his lone hit tonight. Reddick, Seth Smith, Adam Rosales and Derek Norris would each add a hit to the A’s total for the night.
The A’s look to rebound tomorrow night as Tommy Milone (3-3, 3.69 ERA) looks to beat his road demons against Zach McAllister (2-3, 3.30). The A’s will have to put together at bats of a much higher quality if they want to get this series evened up.