Athletics-Mariners Preview

The Associated Press

After a forgettable first few starts, the Oakland Athletics' Jarrod Parker has been at the top of his game.

The Seattle Mariners' Jeremy Bonderman is also thriving after a disastrous season debut.

Seeking a career-high fifth consecutive win, Parker takes the mound opposite Bonderman as the visiting Athletics conclude a three-game set against the Mariners on Sunday.

Parker (6-6, 4.30 ERA) opened 1-5 with a 7.34 ERA but has since turned a corner, going 5-1 with a 2.43 ERA and a .177 opponents' batting average. The right-hander has been especially good in his last five starts, compiling a 4-0 record while allowing two or zero earned runs in each.

Parker outpitched Yu Darvish in Tuesday's 6-2 win at Texas, allowing two runs and three hits over seven innings.

"My changeup was pretty good," he told MLB's official website. "It's starting to come back to where I can throw it for a strike or put it down in the zone for a punchout."

Despite averaging a lackluster 6.10 strikeouts per nine innings, Parker's still getting the job done.

"He just finds a way to throw the right pitch at the right time," Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz said.

Although Parker has compiled a 9.31 ERA while losing two career home starts against the Mariners (33-43), he's 2-0 with a 2.70 mark in Seattle. He walked a season-high four but yielded three runs and three hits in 6 1-3 innings in a 4-3 victory at Safeco Field on May 11.

Bonderman (1-1, 3.28), meanwhile, continues to impress after missing the previous two seasons due to injury. The right-hander has gone 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA in three starts since being tagged for seven runs in 4 2-3 innings in a loss to Minnesota on June 2.

"When you look at the physical shape he's in and how hard he's worked to come back, it was a good guy to give an opportunity to - and it was worth it," manager Eric Wedge said of Bonderman, who was signed to a minor league contract this offseason.

Bonderman allowed a run and six hits over six innings Tuesday in a 3-2, 10-inning road win over the Los Angeles Angels. He's 4-3 with a 3.49 ERA in eight regular-season starts against the A's, but hasn't faced them since 2010.

Coco Crisp is Oakland's only hitter with significant experience against Bonderman, going 10 for 42 (.238) with a homer and three doubles.

The A's (44-33) took Friday's series opener 6-3 before falling 7-5 Saturday - their sixth defeat in nine games. Raul Ibanez hit a game-tying three-run homer in the seventh inning and Nick Franklin gave Seattle the lead with a two-run single in the eighth.

Franklin went 3 for 5 and has hit safely in 10 of 11 games, going 15 for 44 (.341) with two homers and 10 RBIs.

"For him to be able to stay calm in those situations and for him to be able to stay disciplined like that is huge,'' Ibanez said. "He's a really heads-up player. He plays very, very mature.

"He's been very impressive.''

Ibanez has seven home runs and 17 RBIs in his last 18 home contests. Seattle has won seven straight and 10 of 13 at home when Ibanez drives in at least one run.

The Mariners have taken five of eight in the series.