Oakland, CA – Chris Carter's two-run double highlighted a five-run third inning, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Baltimore Orioles, 5-2, Saturday night.
Jarrod Parker (11-8) allowed seven hits and a pair of runs over seven innings for the A's, who have won eight of their last nine contests. They sit two games behind first-place Texas in the AL West. Oakland also remains at the top of the wild card standings.
"We know every game from here on out is enormous," Parker said. "Every game means something, every out means something. If we're able to continue playing well, we know we have a chance to do great things."
Nate McLouth homered for the Orioles, who will try to avoid a three-game sweep Sunday. They are 2 1/2 games ahead of the Angels for the second wild card spot, but fell a game behind the New York Yankees for the lead in the AL East.
Zach Britton (5-3) gave up four hits and five runs over four innings.
Mark Reynolds doubled to left field to drive in Adam Jones in the second inning, and McLouth homered to right in the third.
But in the bottom of the inning, Stephen Drew led off with a homer to right field. Coco Crisp walked and Jonny Gomes was hit by a pitch prior to RBI singles from Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes, the latter a ground ball that got through the middle.
Carter then lined a double into the right field corner.
"It's an easy recipe for success, don't walk guys," Britton said. "Right now, it's just a small adjustment on my front side."
The A's also got great defense in the fourth inning. Chris Davis doubled to left field. Jones tried to score, but was thrown out at the plate on a great sweep tag from Derek Norris.
Baltimore put men on second and third in the ninth inning, but Endy Chavez grounded out to end the game and give Grant Balfour his 19th save of the year.
The A's lead the 2012 series, 5-3, and secured a season series win again. The Orioles have not won a season series against the A's since 1998 and have lost 16 of their last 18 games in Oakland ... The Orioles have posted a 12-18 record against the AL West this season.