Jarrod Parker tried hard to steal his teammates' thunder Monday night.
As the A's were busy busting out for 12 runs against the Texas Rangers, Parker had a loftier goal in mind.
The right-hander took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, maintaining the drama in a 12-1 victory that was decided early thanks to the A's bats.
Parker's run at history was dashed when Michael Young bounced an 0-1 slider up the middle for a clean single to lead off the eighth. Parker didn't hide the fact he was peeved with himself. "I don't want to give up hits," he said. "It's something where I just want to finish it. I came that far."
He wound up with the best night of his young career, tossing a career-high eight innings and allowing one hit while striking out six and walking three.
Parker (2-2) took the mound in the eighth with his pitch count at 107. It's unknown if the 23-year-old would have been allowed to complete a no-hit bid, and manager Bob Melvin wasn't relishing the thought of that decision.
"That was difficult," Melvin said. "If he comes in after eight, he's at 120. What do you do? I'm glad I didn't have to make that decision."
Parker showed the potential that made the A's target him as the centerpiece of the Trevor Cahill trade with Arizona in the offseason. He used mainly his fastball and an outstanding changeup to tame a Texas lineup that leads the majors with 303 runs.
"It doesn't happen very often," Young said of his team being silenced. "But this is the big leagues. He has really good stuff and he threw well."
While Parker was trying for the seventh no-hitter in Oakland history, his hitters broke out for an improbable performance.
Oakland had been shut out in three of its previous four games and 11 times total this season. So a small gathering of 10,120 at the Coliseum had to be shocked see the A's erupt for eight runs in the second, their biggest inning since scoring nine against Tampa Bay on July 27 of last season.
Brandon Inge crammed a home run, two hits and four RBIs into that inning alone, as the A's sent 13 men to the plate. He and Seth Smith became the first Oakland teammates to have two hits in an inning since Mark Ellis and Jason Kendall did it on Sept. 3, 2006.
Smith finished 4 for 5 with two singles, a double and triple. He had a chance to complete the cycle in the eighth but flied out against Craig Gentry, the Rangers outfielder called on to take the mound and save his bullpen.
Cliff Pennington (2 for 4) had a two-run double in the second to snap a career-long 0-for-29 streak.
Just last season, Doolittle was an injury-riddled first baseman whose career was stuck in neutral in his fifth professional season.
The left-hander was a pitcher/first baseman at the University of Virginia, and he asked to return to the mound in August. Doolittle began this season in Single-A Stockton but quickly accelerated through Double-A and Triple-A.
When lefty reliever Jordan Norberto was placed on the disabled list Monday with a strained muscle in his left shoulder, the A's didn't hesitate to give Doolittle, 25, his first shot in the major leagues.
"I don't recall hearing about a guy switching positions and making it to the big leagues so quickly," Melvin said.
Doolittle combined to post a 0.72 ERA in 16 relief appearances split between the three minor league levels. He struck out 48 and walked just seven over 25 innings.
"Never in a million years did I think with two months under my belt pitching that I would be here," Doolittle said.
Russell, a Scott Boras-advised player who attends Pace High School (Fla.), is the first high school prospect the A's have taken in the first round since 2001, when they selected pitcher Jeremy Bonderman.
Russell has a scholarship to Auburn waiting for him, and he said he's undecided about turning pro or going to college.
"I'm just excited," Russell said on a conference call. "Me and my family are going to be talking about it a lot."
Under the new collective bargaining agreement, the deadline for teams to sign draft picks is July 13 before they lose their rights to them.
Russell hit .358 with eight homers and 33 RBIs in 32 games this season.
According to Baseball America, Russell has soft hands and an above-average arm, plus good bat speed and raw power but "inconsistent swing mechanics."
"He's a very, very athletic kid," A's scouting director Eric Kubota said. "He has a chance to be a prototypical five-tool player in the middle of the diamond."
While some believe Russell projects as a third baseman, Kubota said the A's see him as a shortstop.
Oakland took another prep shortstop, Daniel Robertson out of Upland High School, with its next pick at No. 34. It drafted another high school player, first baseman Matt Olson out of Parkview High in Georgia, with the 47th overall pick.