DENVER (AP) — For two games, Jarrod Parker sat around and waited for his turn to take the mound, watching two pitching staffs get roughed up to the tune of 31 runs.
And then the unflappable kid did what few pitchers can do, he tamed Coors Field.
Parker allowed three hits over seven scoreless innings, and Brandon Moss drove in three runs to help the Oakland Athletics beat the slumping Colorado Rockies 8-2 on Thursday for their first series sweep on the road since the end of the 2010 season.
Parker (3-3) was bumped up a spot in the rotation due to Brandon McCarthy's sore shoulder, so he drew the assignment of throwing in this hitter friendly park.
The hard-throwing righty allowed just three singles before being lifted after tossing an efficient 89 pitches. Parker struck out six and walked one.
"He's got some grit and determination to him," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It's difficult to sit here and watch balls fly all around this park like it's a pinball machine and then go out there and throw seven innings with three hits and no runs."
Not for a poised Parker. He made it look rather easy with a simple philosophy — don't leave anything up.
"You can't get hurt on the ground," Parker said.
Or if hitters struggle to catch up with a lively 94-mph fastball.
Just when they think they've figured him out, Parker mixes in an 83-mph changeup.
"When he's pitching well, everybody is in between. Just a little bit behind the fastball and ahead of the changeup," Melvin said.
Parker was in control the entire way, allowing just one runner to reach third base. Even then, he quickly quieted the threat by striking out Carlos Gonzalez on a changeup to end the sixth.
The 23-year-old Parker was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on April 25 and has been a solid contributor in the rotation.
With this performance, he lowered his ERA from 3.19 to 2.82. That is usually not the case at Coors, where ERAs tend to go up.
"Their young kid was terrific," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "We could do very little with him."
Or with Moss at the plate.
The first baseman has been swinging a hot bat since being brought up from Sacramento on June 6. Moss hit his fifth homer in eight games, a solo shot to right-center in the ninth. He also had a two-run double in the third.
"He's been a nice acquisition for us," Melvin said.
Josh Reddick added a solo shot into the second deck in right field for his 15th homer of the season.
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