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A's Parker gets first major-league victory

The SportsXchange

BOSTON - Oakland left-hander Jordan Norberto proudly displayed the game ball he got after finishing off his first major league save Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

Soon after, nearby in the small visitors' clubhouse, rookie righty Jarrod Parker, talking about his first major league win, said he didn't know where the game ball was.

When told Norberto had it, Parker smiled and said, "We might have to cut it half."

Sounds like a plan.

These two young pitchers, both former Arizona Diamondbacks, deserve most of the credit for the 5-3 Oakland victory that ended the A's three-game losing streak and kept the Red Sox from climbing above .500 for the first time this season.

Parker, 23 and making only his third major league start, his second with the A's, yielded only four hits in 6 2/3 innings, leaving with a 5-1 lead.

Norberto, warming up as closer Grant Balfour failed in the ninth, came on and struck out Lars Anderson and got the ever-tough Dustin Pedroia to ground out to end the game.

"I'm excited for him, too," said Norberto, 25. "We played together from low-A (ball), high-A, double-A, everywhere. I feel good for him, too. I did my job and it happened today. I just tried to do my job and I did it."

Balfour was the only one of five Oakland pitchers who didn't get the job done, as Brian Fuentes got the last out of the seventh and Ryan Cook, another ex-Diamondback, worked a scoreless eighth.

Both Parker and Cook came over from Arizona as the cash-strapped A's dealt Trevor Cahill to the D-Backs, a month after Norberto came over as part of a deal that sent reliever Brad Ziegler to Arizona.

"I saw that Trevor had a nice night tonight in Washington," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "You wish Trevor the best; he's such a great guy and you know he's going to be a good pitcher, but you don't focus too much on that. You just focus on the guys you get back and we're happy with the guys that we got back."

Melvin's team had yielded 26 runs during the three-game losing streak, making this start on a chilly night very important.

"He was terrific," the manager said. "Places like this, you're always going to see how young pitchers pitching here for the first time handle it. The first inning, usually, is indicative. He was good. Similar to last time out."

Jemile Weeks and Cliff Pennington, the Oakland double play combination, came into the game hitting .181 and .200, respectively. They combined for for four hits, three RBIs, three runs scored and two of the four Oakland swipes of third base.

"Those are two guys that we feel we need to get going," said Melvin. "They're not going to hit like that all year."

Weeks singled and scored in the first inning, before Pennington singled in one run, Weeks doubled in two and another scored on a Felix Doubront wild pitch in a four-run fourth.

The Red Sox got a run on a single, wild pitch and two groundouts but that's all they could get on Parker.

The first win?

"It's pretty cool," he said. "I don't think it will set in until maybe tomorrow or when I'm fielding phone calls later tonight."

Doubront (1-1) struck out a career-high eight, but lasted only four innings.

"It's a little different Felix," said manager Bobby Valentine. "He never really had his two-seamer tonight, it seemed. He's been the master of the one-ball, two-strike count. Tonight he was behind virtually every hitter. And he tried to battle through it without his real bread and butter."

Cody Ross had three hits and Mike Aviles singled home the two ninth-inning runs for the Red Sox (11-12).

NOTES: With Kevin Youkilis missing his third straight game with back stiffness, Boston recalled young shortstop Jose Iglesias from Pawtucket and optioned reliever Junichi Tazawa. Valentine said he wasn't sure on Youkilis' situation. Youkilis was on the top step of the dugout with a bat and helmet in the ninth inning but that may have been a decoy. ... Both teams will wear 1936 (the Philadelphia A's sold Jimmie Foxx to the Red Sox in December, 1935) throwback uniforms in the series finale Wednesday night as part of the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. ... The Sox announced the April 22 rainout against the Yankees will be made up as part of a day-night Fenway double-header July 7. ... Boston had until midnight to summon righty Aaron Cook from Pawtucket or risk losing him as a free agent. If he opts out Wednesday, they have 48 hours to bring him up. There were signs Anderson was headed back to Pawtucket (for Cook?) but nothing was announced. ... Valentine said righty Clay Buchholz "pitched through a blister situation" Monday night, when he pitched well for six innings before yielding five runs in the seventh. ... Melvin on Yoenis Cespedes, the Cuban import in his first year in the U.S. who drove in the first run Tuesday night: "You can literally see him learning on the fly, processing each and every pitch that's thrown to him. I see him each and every day finding new ways to prepare. I really marvel every day at the progress he makes."
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