Interleague Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, May 18th (All times eastern)
Oakland Athletics (20-19) at San Francisco Giants (19-19), 10:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Jarrod Parker (1-1, 2.10) San Francisco - Barry Zito (2-1, 2.53)
(Sports Network) - Left-hander Barry Zito faces his former team for the sixth time in six seasons tonight when the San Francisco Giants host their Bay Area rivals, the Oakland Athletics, in the first of three interleague games at AT&T Park.
Tonight's matchup is the 87th in the series for the Athletics and Giants, with Oakland holding a slim 45-41 advantage overall but coming in five games under .500 at 19-24 on San Francisco's home field.
As for Zito, he was the ninth overall pick of the 1999 draft by the Athletics and pitched seven successful seasons in Oakland, including a 23-5 mark in 2002 that earned him the American League's Cy Young Award and a career-best 13th-place finish in voting for the league's MVP.
He was 16-10 in 2006 before becoming a free agent and signing a long-term deal with the Giants that's already paid him $80 million over five seasons and escalates to $19 million this year and $20 million in 2013 before team and player options kick in for 2014.
His results in the National League have not matched his previous standard, however, with a top-end win total of 11 in 2007, 10 apiece in 2008 and 2009 and only 14 more in 54 appearances since, including a four-outing bullpen stint last season.
The Las Vegas native, who turned 34 on Sunday, has won two of three decisions so far in 2012, including a complete-game blanking of Colorado in his initial start on April 9 and a 7-3 defeat of Arizona in his last outing on his birthday.
He's 1-4 in five previous meetings with Oakland with a bloated 7.24 earned run average across 27 1/3 innings.
The Athletics go with young right-hander Jarrod Parker, who was 11 years old when Zito made his big-league debut.
Parker was the ninth overall pick of the 2007 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks and reached the majors for one start with them last season. He blanked the Los Angeles Dodgers on four hits over 5 2/3 innings in a 7-6 Arizona win.
He pitched one-third of an inning in the playoffs a week later and allowed a run on two hits in the Diamondbacks' 10-6 defeat of Milwaukee in game four of the NLDS.
Parker was sent to Oakland in a five-player deal on Dec. 9 and made a single start at Triple-A Sacramento this spring before a call-up to the Athletics yielded his initial start on April 25 against Chicago.
He earned his first major-league win with 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball in a 5-3 defeat of Boston at Fenway Park on May 1 and has allowed four runs on 10 hits in 12 2/3 innings since, though it's resulted in a no-decision and a loss against Toronto and Detroit, respectively.
Overall, in 31 1/3 innings across five career starts, he's allowed just six runs in 25 hits with 18 strikeouts and a stingy 1.72 ERA.
On Thursday in Texas, Kila Ka'aihue ripped a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 10th inning as the Athletics held off the Rangers, 5-4, in the finale of a two-game set.
Jonny Gomes reached on an infield single to start the 10th and pinch-hitter Daric Barton followed two batters later with a base hit before Ka'aihue scorched a single to right off of Mike Adams (0-2), plating Gomes from third to give the A's a one-run advantage.
Ryan Cook (1-0) got his first major league victory after tossing two scoreless innings in relief while Brian Fuentes recorded his third save of the year for retiring the Rangers in the bottom of the 10th as Oakland snapped a two-game skid.
"Everybody, for the most part, gets in the game," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We got contributions from the starter, the bullpen, guys off the bench. It was a great team win."
Josh Reddick belted a solo shot for Oakland.
In San Francisco, Brandon Crawford drove in a pair of runs, Brandon Belt doubled twice and the Giants defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-5, in the finale of a two-game series.
Emmanuel Burriss hit a game-tying sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and San Francisco went ahead for good later in the frame when Belt scored on a throwing error by Cardinals third baseman David Freese.
Matt Cain (3-2) allowed four runs over six innings to record the win for the Giants, who halted a two-game skid and earned a split in the brief series.
"The guys showed more patience," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "We swung the bats well."
05/18 11:03:29 ET