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A's 8, Rockies 2

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Oakland A's rookie Jarrod Parker, unfazed by the cascade of offense in the first two games of the series, limited the Colorado Rockies to three singles over seven scoreless innings Thursday as the A's won 8-2 to sweep their three-game set.

The defeat was the eighth straight for the Rockies, extending their season-worst losing streak, and it left them 0-9 this season in interleague play, all the losses coming at Coors Field. At 24-38, the Rockies are a season-worst 14 games below .500.

The series sweep was the first for the A's since Sept. 2-4, 2011, and their first sweep on the road since they won four games at Seattle from Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2010.

In the first two games of the series, won 8-5 and 10-8 by the A's, the teams combined for 44 hits, including 12 home runs, in a throwback to the pre-humidor days at Coors Field from 1995-2001.

The A's hit two late homers Thursday. Josh Reddick hit his 16th, a shot into the second deck in right field with two outs in the eighth off Matt Reynolds. Brandon Moss led off the ninth with a homer against Josh Roenicke. It was Moss' fifth homer in eight games with Oakland and his fourth in the series. The A's added two more runs off Roenicke, who had allowed three runs (two earned) in his previous 21 outings dating back to April 28.

Parker worked seven highly efficient innings, throwing 89 pitches and 60 strikes. He got 10 outs on balls hit on the ground, struck out six -- all swinging -- and issued only one walk.

The Rockies averted their fourth shutout when Marco Scutaro homered with one out in the ninth off former Rockies closer Brian Fuentes, who then gave up a second run.

Parker lowered his ERA to 2.82 as he made his 10th start of the season and the 11th of his career. He gave up a single to Dexter Fowler to open the first, but Fowler was caught stealing. Parker retired six straight batters before Chris Nelson singled with one out in the third, and the right-hander retired eight straight batters before Nelson opened the sixth with a single. With one out, Fowler walked, giving the Rockies two baserunners in the same inning for the first time. Scutaro moved the runners up with a grounder to second, but Parker struck out Carlos Gonzalez on three pitches.

Colorado's Alex White pitched four innings, the shortest of his eight starts this year. Rockies starters have pitched less than six innings in seven of the past eight games, the exception White's six-inning outing June 8 against the Angels. Two of the four runs White allowed were unearned, lowering the starters' ERA slightly to 6.29.

Sloppy play by the Rockies helped the A's score two runs in both the second and third. A double by Moss and Kurt Suzuki's single put runners on first and third with one out in the second. Third baseman Pacheco made a low throw on a grounder hit by Adam Rosales, and Tyler Colvin, making his second start at first base, not only was unable to dig the ball out but had it deflect past him, allowing both runners to score.

White found trouble quickly in the third when Reddick led off with a double and Seth Smith walked. With one out, catcher Wilin Rosario was charged with the first of two passed balls -- he has nine this season -- and Moss doubled home both runners. Right fielder Michael Cuddyer dropped the ball after it hit it off the wall, allowing Moss to move to third, but White stranded him there.

White threw just 46 of 83 pitches for strikes and faced 14 batters with runners in scoring position as he gave up seven hits, but he minimized the damage by stranding seven runners.

Guillermo Moscoso, a candidate for Colorado's rotation if Jeremy Guthrie continues to struggle, worked three scoreless innings in relief of White. Moscoso got Rosales to ground into a double play to end the fifth and worked out of trouble in the sixth. Oakland loaded the bases with two outs on Cliff Pennington's bunt single and two walks, but Moscoso got Brandon Inge to fly out.

NOTES: Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was scheduled to undergo a precautionary MRI on his strained left groin that he aggravated Wednesday at Triple-A Colorado Springs while beginning a rehab assignment. Manager Jim Tracy said, "I don't sense anything real serious." ... A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was unavailable, but manager Bob Melvin said Cespedes would be able to be the designated hitter when the A's open a weekend series at home against the Padres. Cespedes, who missed four games with a left hamstring strain, returned Wednesday and aggravated the injury running out a grounder in the first. He was replaced in the second inning. ... A's right-hander Brandon McCarthy played catch, and the club will have a better idea Friday if he can avoid the disabled list. He was scratched from a start in this series and underwent an MRI that showed no structural damage to his right shoulder. McCarthy was pushed back to Saturday but won't make that start, Triple-A Sacramento right-handers Graham Godfrey and Tyson Ross are options to start in place of McCarthy. ... Colvin had played in nine games totaling 20 2/3 innings at first base before Thursday. Todd Helton, the Rockies' regular first baseman, doesn't start day games after night games, and this was a way for Tracy to keep Colvin's hot bat in the lineup. Despite going 0-for-5 on Wednesday, Colvin was 7-for-15 in his previous four games with four homers, six RBI and five runs. ... After the game, the Rockies left for Detroit and their longest trip of the season, a nine-game, 10-day journey that includes stops in Philadelphia and Texas.
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