Parker not making excuses for up-and-down start

Parker not making excuses for up-and-down start

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The way Jarrod Parker sees it, he shouldn't need any time to settle in when he's starting a game. From the first pitch on, he aims to be locked, loaded and ready to attack opposing hitters.

So even after retiring 12 of the final 13 batters he faced Monday in his third Cactus League outing of the spring, Parker seemed frustrated with himself due to his sluggish start in which he allowed four first-inning runs to the Dodgers, all coming off homers.

"I don't really need to do that, that's not conducive to the way I need to pitch," Parker said of settling in. "From hitter one, I need to be aggressive and have a good mentality."

Said A's manager Bob Melvin, "I like that, he wants to be on it right away. It's a good mindset to have. He had a tough first inning, but he pitched well after that."

Parker, who appears on schedule to start the A's Opening Day game on March 31, shook off the shaky beginning and finished the day working 4 2/3 innings, giving up those four runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out five batters, including the final three Dodgers he saw.

"I got a little more aggressive," Parker said. "I got comfortable and so I was able to move the ball around, get to my changeup, throw it for a strike and finish when I needed to."

The home runs Parker surrendered were to Andre Ethier, who smashed a three-run shot off a 1-0 fastball, and Juan Uribe, who took a hanging slider and deposited it over the left-field wall.

Taking into account the four runs Monday, Parker's ERA on the spring now sits at 10.61. He broke camp last year with a 7.45 ERA in five starts and went on to turn in a fine regular season, but Parker doesn't want to make any excuses for his results, even if it's only Spring Training.

"I never want to chalk it up to something like that," Parker said. "I'm not real happy, but there's time to flip the switch. Next one, I want to get through five, get into the sixth and start to getting to where I need to be. I need to put together aggressive innings. Everything else will follow."

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.