Playoff hopefuls conclude set in Oakland

The Oakland Athletics try to get even closer in the American League West race on Sunday when they attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles at the Coliseum.

Oakland beat the O's for the fourth consecutive time at home on Saturday, as Chris Carter's two-run double highlighted a five-run third inning in the A's 5-2 triumph.

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 and now 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 are 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.

Getting the call for Oakland on Sunday will be righty Dan Straily, who has won his last two starts. Straily beat the Angels on Tuesday, holding them to three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He also struck out a career-best eight in that one.

He's 2-0 in four starts for the A's with a 3.42 ERA.

Baltimore, meanwhile, will counter with left-handed veteran Randy Wolf, who will be making his first start with the team. Wolf was released by Milwaukee, but signed with the O's and has pitched three times in relief for them, going 2-0 with a 5.68 ERA.

In 25 games (24 starts) for the Brewers Wolf was 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA.

"Coming here you kind of feel a little rejuvenated and excited," Wolf said. "I think those exciting feelings and rejuvenating feelings are enhanced when you get the call to make the start (Sunday)."

Wolf has faced the A's just twice and is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in those contests.

Prior to this series, the A's and O's split six meetings this season -- all in Baltimore.