OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — Bob Melvin has little to explain about Oakland’s losses the past two days: Four hits in two games is not going to amount to much.
Jarrod Parker had his strongest outing yet for the Athletics in a 3-1, 11-inning defeat to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, yet he didn’t get enough support from the offense.
“We’re not stringing hits together and getting guys on base,” Melvin said. “We have to swing the bats better. We’re going to face a lot of good pitchers. There’s no excuse. We got four hits.”
Alberto Callaspo delivered a go-ahead two-run double in the 11th against Justin Norberto (0-1).
Kendrys Morales drew a one-out walk in the 11th and was lifted for pinch-runner Peter Bourjos, who moved to third on Howie Kendrick’s two-out single. Callaspo then drove them both home with a double to left.
Jordan Walden (1-1) pitched a 1-2-3 10th, and Ernesto Frieri finished by striking out the side for his first major league save on a day the Angels couldn’t provide enough offense to back starter Jered Weaver.
Frieri hasn’t given up a hit while striking out 19 in 8 2-3 innings since he was acquired from San Diego on May 3.
“I was waiting for this for a long time with the Padres, and they wouldn’t give me a chance,” said Frieri, a 26-year-old righty who has pitched in parts of four major league seasons. “The Angels trust me a little more. Mentally, I was ready.”
Parker struck out a career-best eight and walked one in seven innings, allowing one run and five hits. The right-hander is winless in four starts since beating Boston at Fenway Park on May 1 for his lone victory. Parker’s one walk was a positive sign, considering he had issued at least four in each of his previous three outings.
Making his first career start against the Angels, Parker bounced back with a solid day after he was tagged for a career-high six runs in a career-low two innings in Friday’s 8-6 loss at San Francisco.
“I wanted to get out there and have a good one after the last one,” Parker said.
Melvin called it Parker’s “best stuff of the year.”
Weaver allowed one run and three hits in eight innings but missed a chance to become the majors’ first seven-game winner.
Weaver surrendered a tying solo home run to Seth Smith on a changeup in the sixth and gave the Angels another strong performance following a one-hitter by C.J. Wilson and Frieri a night earlier in a 5-0 win.
Scott Downs also pitched a hitless inning of relief—giving the Angels plenty of options in their suddenly reliable bullpen late in the game.
“It was only a matter of time before those guys turned it around,” Weaver said.
Maicer Izturis hit an RBI single in the third inning against A’s starter Jarrod Parker, but that wasn’t enough to hold up for Weaver. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.66 ERA in his last three starts at the Coliseum.
Oakland has been without its best bats with Brandon Inge and Yoenis Cespedes both on the disabled list, and Melvin said before the game suspended slugger Manny Ramirez might not be ready to be promoted from his Triple-A stint on May 30 — his 40th birthday—as planned when he’s eligible. Ramirez has been dealing with a wrist injury.
“Offensively we have to get a lot better. We’re putting a lot of weight on our starting pitchers,” Oakland’s Jonny Gomes said. “We’re not getting run out of the stadium every day. It’s not like it’s 10-9. It’s 2-1 or 1-0. We’re in every game. We need to find ways to get guys on base.”
Albert Pujols went 1 for 4 and recorded a hit for 11th time in his last 12 games. The slugger singled in the sixth but was thrown out at third trying to take an extra base on Morales’ single.
The Angels won for just their third time in the last eight meetings with the AL West rival A’s. Oakland leads the season series 5-4.
Angels shortstop Erick Aybar had most of the day off to rest a day after he was hit in the right knee by a pitch in the seventh inning. He flied out as a pinch-hitter in the 10th. Aybar said he feels much better and expects to start Thursday at Seattle.
Los Angeles rookie Kole Calhoun doubled in the fifth for his first major league hit. He made his big league debut Tuesday night as a ninth inning defensive substitute in right field for Mark Trumbo.
NOTES: Injured A’s CF Cespedes tested his strained left hand with 40 swings off a tee. … The Angels have scored 18 runs over their last eight games vs. Oakland. Los Angeles heads to Seattle for four games to finish its 10-game road trip, and is expected to get RF Torii Hunter back from the restricted list next week after he returned to Texas following the arrest of his teenage son. … Pujols is batting .378 (14 of 37) with five doubles, a home run and four RBIs in seven games vs. the A’s this year.
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