ANAHEIM The A's can only hope Jarrod Parker's performance Monday is an omen of what their young pitchers will do over the season's final three-plus weeks.
The rookie right-hander shone in his first career start at Angel Stadium, giving up just three hits over seven innings as the A's beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-1 in the opener of a crucial four-game series.
Los Angeles had won 15 of 18.
The A's mustered just six hits but once again did big damage with the long ball.
Brandon Moss led off the fifth with a towering homer off Dan Haren (10-11) to break a 1-1 tie.
Then Cliff Pennington went deep to lead off the sixth for the A's (80-60).
Oakland moved two games ahead of Baltimore for the American League's top wild-card spot.
The A's opened a three-game lead over Tampa Bay Rays and stretched their lead over the Angels to 3 1/2 games.
Parker (10-8) showed no intimidation before an announced crowd of 36,064, joining Tommy Milone as just the second set of A's rookies to win 10 games in the same season.
Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill also did it in 2009.
The Angels got to Parker for their only run in the third. Mike Trout drew a two-out walk, stole second and advanced to third when Derek Norris' throw went to the outfield, and scored on Torii Hunter's double.
Notes Pitcher Brandon McCarthy walked down a hallway and climbed four steps at the Bay Area hospital where he has been since Wednesday, showing more progress as he recovers from brain surgery after he was struck by a line drive.
A's head trainer Nick Paparesta said McCarthy seems to be past the critical stage where doctors warned that patients could have relapses after the surgery, and that McCarthy could be heading home "soon," though he didn't give a date.
The A's recalled second baseman Jemile Weeks, first baseman Daric Barton and right-handed reliever Jesse Chavez from the River Cats.
Former A's broadcaster Bill King and current broadcaster Ray Fosse are among 41 candidates for the annual Ford C. Frick Award, the baseball broadcasting equivalent of the Hall of Fame.
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