Moss hits 30th HR as A's look toward playoffs

BY foxsports • September 28, 2013

Brandon Moss' 30th home run helped him reach a milestone, despite the fact that it came in a loss.

Moss and Alberto Callaspo hit back-to-back homers in the seventh inning of the Oakland Athletics' 7-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

''Throughout the course of a season you set your goals or you know what you are capable of doing. But a lot of it is out of your control,'' Moss said. ''Then you get close and you have to try to not do too much.''

''A lot of times these round numbers are just one more than 29 or one point better than 299 or one RBI more than 99, but they mean something for a reason, because they are hard to achieve. And when you accomplish something nobody can take it away from you.''

Moss' team-leading blast didn't lead to a victory, but the loss did give the Athletics clarity as to what their opening postseason series will look like - a rematch of last year's American League division series.

Boston clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason with Oakland's loss. The AL West champion A's will play their playoff opener at home next Friday against AL Central champion Detroit. AL East winner Boston will start at Fenway Park against the team emerging from the wild-card playoff: Cleveland, Tampa Bay or Texas.

Oakland lost to Detroit in last year's division series.

''It was a good matchup last year, we've had some spirited games with them this year, so it should be an exciting series,'' Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.

''Two pretty well-matched teams, a little different in style. You look at the numbers overall, their pitching numbers and their hitting numbers, and ours and what we do and it's a little different, but should be pretty evenly matched.''

The teams last met a month ago for a four game series in Detroit from Aug. 26-29, and the Athletics won three of the games.

''Offensively we hit every one of their starters and they are all good,'' Melvin said. ''So as far as confidence goes, it should give us a little something going into the series.''

On Saturday, the Athletics fell behind 7-1 when Brad Miller hit a grand slam in the fifth inning, his second home run of the game.

It was the third home run allowed by starter Jarrod Parker (12-8), who gave up seven runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings. It was the second time in three starts he allowed seven or more runs without making it through the fifth inning.

I think he was just a little off on the baseball today, but the stuff was still good,'' Melvin said. ''I'm not worried about that.''

It was the second time Parker allowed at least three home runs.

''I wasn't able to get the ball in where I wanted to, and the fastball location back and forth wasn't very good,'' Parker said.

Parker has thrown a career-high 197 innings this season, and Melvin thinks he'll benefit from some days off before the start of the playoffs.

''He always seems to do better when he gets some extra rest,'' Melvin said. ''I don't know if it's a mental thing or he just feels rejuvenated.''

Mariners starter Brandon Maurer (5-8) gave up two runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings. He had been 0-1 in three starts and three relief appearances since beating the A's on Aug. 20. Danny Farquhar pitched a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 20 chances.

Coco Crisp hit a sacrifice fly in the third and Callaspo had a run-scoring single in the sixth for Oakland.

Oakland's comeback attempt was hurt by missed chances. The A's failed to score after loading the bases with two outs in the sixth and eighth innings, and they were 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

''We know we have our work cut out for us (against Detroit) and I think they know that as well,'' Moss said. ''We know how deep they are and how talented they are, but we believe in ourselves a lot more this year.''

NOTES: Oakland OF Yoenis Cespedes was out of the lineup a day after leaving in the fourth inning with shoulder stiffness. Manager Bob Melvin said Cespedes was day to day. ''There's a good chance you don't see him tomorrow,'' Melvin said. ... The A's have hit back-to-back homers six times this season. ... Callespo's home run was his 10th of the season.

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