OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Jarrod Parker's best start in more than two weeks couldn't prevent the suddenly punchless Athletics from dropping their second straight game.
Now Oakland's slim lead in the wild-card race is gone and manager Bob Melvin's team is on the verge of being swept at home for the first time since late May.
Brandon Moss homered but the A's couldn't manage anything else against Los Angeles pitcher Zack Greinke in a 6-1 loss to the Angels on Tuesday night.
"Every game is big right now," said Parker, who took the loss despite pitching seven strong innings. "We don't want to be on the losing end of anything. I think when we set back up tomorrow we have a pretty good chance of taking a game (but) every game is important at this point."
The A's have dropped two straight to the Angels following a nine-game winning streak. That dropped Oakland into a tie for the wild-card lead, four games behind first-place Texas in the AL West and 3½ ahead of the third-place Angels.
Since scoring 57 runs in seven games while sweeping Cleveland and Boston, the A's have been outscored 14-4 by Los Angeles.
Oakland needs to win in Wednesday's series finale to avoid being swept at home since dropping three straight to the Yankees from May 25-27
"Each and every game is important here in September, but they come in and take the first two games from us I think it's just as important to win the game tomorrow," Melvin said.
Greinke pitched seven sharp innings to win his third consecutive start and Kendrys Morales had three hits and an RBI for the Angels, who remained 3½ games out of a wild-card spot in the American League. Los Angeles has won four of five on its six-game road trip and 11 of 14 overall.
Greinke (4-2) scattered four hits, struck out four and walked two. He also got some help from the Angels' defense when Mike Trout ran down Josh Reddick's deep fly to center in the sixth.
Since beginning his Los Angeles career with two losses in five starts following a July 27 trade from Milwaukee, Greinke has settled into a groove. He's yielded four runs over his last 21 2-3 innings and has gone at least seven innings in each of his last three starts.
Parker, who also lost to the Angels in his previous start at the Oakland Coliseum on Aug. 6, didn't pitch poorly but had nothing to show for it after going seven innings. He struck out Torii Hunter three times, had five strikeouts overall and didn't walk a batter for the second time this season.