Parker's gem boosts A's to fourth consecutive win

Stephen Dunn/ReutersCloser Grant Balfour # 50 of the Oakland Athletics reacts after getting the final out and the save against the Los Angeles Angels.

Brandon Moss and Cliff Pennington homered and Jarrod Parker pitched seven strong innings as visiting the visiting A’s won their fourth straight game and snapped Los Angeles’ six-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory on Monday.

Parker (10-8) allowed one run and three hits as the A’s moved within three games of the idle Texas Rangers in the American League West and extended their hold on the top wild-card spot.

Ryan Cook pitched a scoreless eighth and Grant Balfour struck out two in a flawless ninth for his 17th save in 19 opportunities as Oakland earned its 10th straight road victory by prevailing in the opener of the pivotal four-game series.

Moss launched a solo shot off Dan Haren (10-11) leading off the fifth to give the A’s a 2-1 lead. Pennington led off the sixth with a homer over the right-center field fence.

Oakland struck in the first when Coco Crisp tripled and scored on Seth Smith’s infield out.

Los Angeles, which dropped 1½ games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the second wild-card spot, knotted the contest in the third when Mike Trout walked and scored on Torii Hunter’s double down the right-field line.
Haren allowed three runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings.

NOTES: Oakland pitcher Brandon McCarthy is continuing his recovery after being hit in the head by a line drive from Los Angeles shortstop Erick Aybar on Wednesday. McCarthy could be released from the hospital later this week. … Angels ace Jered Weaver (biceps tendinitis) will pitch Thursday after missing his last start. … Pennington is batting .483 (14-for-29) over his last nine games. … Trout stole his major-league leading 45th base.

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