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Orioles roll over Parker in A's 10-2 loss

Oakland's Coco Crisp, back, reaches for a ball that fell in front of left fielder Chris Young, in the seventh inning Thursday in Oakland.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 10:57 p.m.

OAKLAND — Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Joe Rudi and several other Swingin' A's will return to the Coliseum this weekend for a celebration of the 1973 World Series champs.

The current A's would be happy enough to turn back the clock to a year ago, those halcyon days when their rotation was reliably dominant.

Jarrod Parker became the latest in the stumbling parade of A's starters Thursday night as the Baltimore Orioles triumphed 10-2, pounding Parker for six runs in 5 1/3 innings. Every Orioles batter had at least one hit and everyone except Ryan Flaherty either scored a run or drove someone home.

Parker's ERA now sits at 8.10 — more than double what it was a year ago when his 3.47 mark was the lowest among rookies with at least 130 innings.

The right-hander is hardly alone in his missing mojo: The team that rode an emerging young rotation to the 2012 American League West title is rarely getting a quality outing. A's starters are 5-8 with a 6.12 ERA, and batters are pounding them at a .306 clip.

And if that wasn't enough to put Curt Young in a sour mood, the A's pitching coach was ejected in the third inning by first-base umpire Jim Reynolds. Young was apparently upset at a no-call on a check swing by Orioles designated hitter Nolan Reimold.

It was part of a frustrating night for the A's on the mound. Parker was around the plate (62 of his 98 pitches were strikes) but too often in the middle of it. When he leftpitches up in the zone, the Orioles capitalized with three doubles against him as well as Chris Davis' eighth home run.

It was the fifth home run given up by Parker this season in just 231/3 innings. He surrendered only 11 home runs all of last season (1811/3 innings).

While the A's starting pitching is a mystery, manager Bob Melvin hopes the offense will get a lift with the looming return of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes, on the disabled list since April 13, will return Sunday if all goes smoothly with his rehabilitation games for Triple-A Sacramento. The A's loss Thursday night dropped them to 5-7 since Cespedes sustained a strained muscle in his left hand.

Melvin thinks the A's will have a different look once their cleanup hitter is back.

“There's no doubt. He's a force in our lineup,'' Melvin said before the game. “Even when he's not swinging well, he still has an impact because everybody around him knows they don't have to be 'the guy.' They can relax.

“The other teams are very aware of where he is all the time. He's one of those impactful guys where he's swinging the bat or not. We look forward to having him back.”

The A's did get one injured player back Thursday. Utility man Adam Rosales (strained left intercostal) was reinstated from the disabled list. To make room on the roster, the A's optioned infielder Andy Parrino to Triple-A Sacramento.

Melvin indicated that Rosales would start at second base Friday against Orioles' left-hander Wei-Yin Chen.

Some members of the '73 team will arrive Friday for an autograph session to benefit the Jim “Catfish” Hunter ALS Foundation. A limited number of tickets priced at $20 will go on sale at 5:35 p.m. outside the Bar & Grille doors, near Section 217, with the autograph session beginning at 6:15 p.m. (More information is available at www.oaklandathletics.com/1973)

The public celebration Saturday features a special pregame reunion beginning at 12:30 p.m. Ten thousand fans in attendance will receive a Reggie Jackson bobblehead, and Jackson will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

The A's urged fans to arrive early or to take BART on Friday for what could be a hectic night in the Coliseum parking lot. The A's game starts at 7:05. The Warriors' playoff game at Oracle Arena tips off at 7:30. Friday's parking will cost $30.

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