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Parker encouraged by Saturday's solid outing

ST. PETERSBURG -- A year ago, then-rookie Jarrod Parker tied Tommy Milone for the A's team most victories at 13. So far this season, Parker is winless at 0-3. But both he and the A's were heartened by his effort Saturday night, even though it ended in another defeat.

It was the type of performance they are looking for and need from their No. 2 starter. He allowed just one run and fanned five in 6 1/3 innings. He also used his four-seam fastball more than he did in earlier starts and threw more first-pitch strikes.

Parker admitted that his mindset Saturday was to "attack from the get-go. The off-speed pitches, being able to throw three pitches, four pitches for a strike at pretty much any time, that was a good thing for me.

"I think I had a little bit better command of my fastball and I was able to create the sink that I had been looking for all year. The ball would sink when I wanted it to."

In Saturday night's 1-0 loss to the Rays, eight of Tampa Bays 19 outs against Parker came on ground balls, and five others were strikeouts.

"When I'm at my best, I keep the ball out of the air and get ground balls," Parker said. "That'll be a good sign moving forward if I keep the ball down and sink it a little bit. That's the result I'm looking for."

Jim Hawkins is a contributor to
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