OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Stephen Drew homered and made a pair of big defensive plays to back Jarrod Parker, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 on Saturday night. Chris Carter had a two-run double as part of a five-run third inning while Josh Reddick added two hits and an RBI for Oakland, which has won two straight over Baltimore to clinch the season series between the top two teams in the American League wild card race. The A's also pulled within two games of first-place Texas in the AL West, the closest they've been since April 13. The Rangers lost to Seattle earlier in the day. Nate McLouth homered for Baltimore, which dropped one game behind the New York Yankees in the AL East. Parker (11-8) allowed two runs and seven hits over seven innings to win back-to-back starts for the first time since mid-July. The A's rookie right-hander struck out five, walked one and retired 11 of the final 13 batters he faced. Sean Doolittle pitched a scoreless eighth and Grant Balfour worked the ninth for his 19th save. Drew, obtained in a trade from Arizona on Aug. 20, provided a spark with both his bat and glove. His home run off Baltimore starter Zach Britton was the first of four hits in the inning by Oakland in the third. It's Drew's second home run as a member of the A's and fourth overall. The A's shortstop then made the first of his two defensive gems when he threw out Adam Jones trying to score from first on Chris Davis' double in the fourth. Jones reached on a leadoff infield single and Davis followed with a double down the left field line. Jones kept running as Yoenis Cespedes retrieved the ball and threw it to Drew, who turned and made the relay throw home just in time to nab Jones as he was attempting to slide past catcher Derek Norris. Drew later ran down Endy Chavez's grounder behind second base and flipped the ball from his glove to Adam Rosales to force out Mark Reynolds. Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson made a stellar defensive play of his own with two outs in the fifth when he caught McLouth's foul ball while leaning over the rolled-up rain tarp near the stands. The win moved the A's a season-high 23 games over .500. Oakland (84-61) has already won 10 more games than it did last year. Baltimore took an early 2-0 but couldn't make it hold up. The Orioles managed only two hits after the fourth inning and stranded a pair of baserunners in the ninth when Balfour got Chavez to ground to third for the final out. Parker got the Orioles to ground into a double play in the first but his error on a pickoff attempt in the second led to Baltimore's first run. Jones singled and was leading off the bag when Parker's throw to Carter at first base went in the dirt and rolled almost to the Orioles bullpen. Jones raced to third then scored on Reynolds' double to left. McLouth made it 2-0 with his third homer of the season that hit off the facing above the scoreboard in right field. It's only the ninth home run allowed this season by Parker. Britton (5-3) didn't allow a hit until the third when the A's scored five runs. Drew's solo home run started the outburst. After Rosales grounded out, Coco Crisp walked before Britton hit Jonny Gomes on his left elbow to put runners at first and second. Reddick and Cespedes both followed with RBI singles, and Carter doubled both men home to make it 5-2. Britton gave up five earned runs for the second consecutive start. The left-hander had four strikeouts and four walks. Notes: Baltimore has hit into five double plays in the first two games of the series. ... Rookie RHP Dan Straily (2-0) pitches for Oakland in the series finale. ... LHP Randy Wolf (2-0) makes his first start since signing with Baltimore after being released by Milwaukee in late August.
Entering a weekend series against one of the best teams in baseball, the Orioles looked for their first series win since late April. Even though the team played some good baseball, the search will continue on as Baltimore could only salvage one game.
Looking to break the streak, a three-game stretch with Toronto offers them a chance to change the fortunes.
Here's the latest Orioles and Blue Jays news:
The Orioles made a trade on Monday that netted them right-hander Thomas Eshelman from the Phillies. Sending back international signing bonus slots in return, Baltimore picks up a starter that has a 4.61 ERA in the minors this season. His journey with the Orioles will begin at Triple-A Norfolk.
As he continues to rehab from a knee injury, Mark Trumbo could return to the Major League in the near future. The slugger was in Baltimore Monday to have his knee looked at, and his rehab assignment comes to an end on June 16. So, a decision will be coming soon.
John Means will take the hill on Tuesday looking for his sixth win of the season. Sitting at 5-4 with a 2.67 ERA, Means 2019 has been a solid one. He's coming off six innings of one-run ball against the Rangers, though he did still suffer the loss.
Things may not be going great a the MLB level, but the Blue Jays are getting some good performances from their farm system. One of them came recently from Double-A starter Nate Pearson. With five scoreless innings on Sunday, the 22-year-old continued his stellar 2019 campaign. His K/BB catches your eye, as it sits at 63/8.
David Phelps rehab from Tommy John surgery continues to trend upwards, as he pitched a scoreless frame on both Tuesday and Wednesday in High-A ball.
Trent Thornton will go for Toronto on Tuesday. With a 1-4 record in 13 starts, he'll look to lower his 4.73 ERA. Thornton did pick up a win against the Yankees his last time out, but four earned runs in 5.0 innings led to his ERA actually increasing.
OF Dwight Smith Jr.: Concussion, 7-Day IL
OF DJ Stewart: Ankle, 10-Day IL
SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-Day IL
SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-Day IL
DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL
Tuesday 6/11: Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:05 p.m. ET, Orioles Park
Wednesday 6/12: Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:00 p.m. ET, Orioles Park
Thursday 6/13: Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:00 p.m. ET, Orioles Park
MORE ORIOLES NEWS:
- New in Town: The rundown on first overall pick Adley Rutschman
- Midgame Memories: Stanford outfielder learns he was drafted mid-game
- Chasing Rings: Watch the Orioles' draft picks in the NCAA tournament
When the first returns of the American League preliminary vote for the 2019 MLB All-Star Game came in Monday, there were a few surprises on the list of the top vote-getters in each position.
Amongst the most surprising, Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis received 70,010 votes from fans, the tenth-most votes at his position.
After a rough start to the season, in which the first baseman extended his hitless streak to 54 at-bats, Davis is still struggling to find his groove at the plate, batting .161 with five home runs.
Baltimore outfielder Trey Mancini was the only other Oriole on the list, receiving the 17th-most votes of any AL outfielder (100,457).
Unlike Davis, Mancini is batting .299, the second-highest average in Baltimore behind Hanser Alberto (.311), with 13 homers and 31 RBIs so far.
Other surprises on the list include the Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, who received the tenth-most votes of any American League second baseman (50,065). This season Kipnis has slashed .218/.272/.307, with only two home runs.
Less surprising, the Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout received close to a million votes, the most of any American League ballplayer and the most of any outfielder in the first returns (951,002).
Only three other players had more than 500,000 votes: Houston Astros outfielder George Springer (776,352), New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (737,107) and Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman (630,159).
All four of the top vote-getters have 17 or more home runs, including Sanchez' 19 blasts, which are tied for the second-most in the American League.
Primary voting for the 2019 MLB All-Star Game ends at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, June 21.