OAKLAND -- Jarrod Parker had his best outing for the A's since mid-August, but Zack Greinke was even better as the Angels dealt Oakland its second straight loss with a 6-1 defeat in front of 11,688 at the Oakland Coliseum on Tuesday.

The loss dropped Oakland into a tie for the wild-card lead with Baltimore and New York, who are themselves tied for the lead in the American League East. All three ended play Tuesday with a record of 76-59.

It also gave the Angels the series win, and has the A's looking to avoid a sweep Wednesday in what will be their final home game before starting a stretch where they play 17 of 20 on the road.

"Each and every game is important here in September," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "But they come in here and take the first two games from us, it's just as important not to get swept by them, let alone the home/road issue."

Aside from a two-inning stretch in the middle of the game, Parker looked much sharper than he had in either of his past two starts. He allowed just two runs in seven innings, walked none, scattered eight hits and struck out five.

"We lost, so we're not happy with that," Parker said. "I felt pretty good, pitched my way out of a couple jams and I had pretty good stuff but, all in all, we lost."

Those two key innings gave the Angels the lead though, as Los Angeles used a string of singles to get on the board.

The hit parade started in the fifth, as Mike Trout singled in Alberto Callaspo with the third base hit of the inning. The barrage of singles continued in the sixth, when Kendrys Morales and Howie Kendrick led off with back to back base hits, Erick Aybar bunted them over and Callaspo flew out to center to score Morales.

"There were a couple pitches that were up and those were the ones they jumped on," Parker said. "A couple seeing-eye singles as well. Those can bounce either way."

Greinke looked like a different pitcher than the one that walked five and allowed four runs in a 9-8 loss in Oakland on Aug. 8. Commanding all of his pitches, the right-hander allowed just four hits and one run -- that coming on a Brandon Moss home run in the seventh -- in seven innings.

"I thought we had great at-bats the entire night," said A's third baseman Josh Donaldson. "Had a few strikeouts but I thought we had really good at-bats and some balls just didn't fall."

The Angels added four runs off the A's bullpen in the final two innings to wrap the scoring.

  • Josh Reddick earned some hardware for his recent hot play, as the A's right fielder picked up American League Player of the Week honors.


    The numbers certainly reflected the honor. In Oakland's seven wins last week, Reddick went 12 for 31 (.387) with two doubles, three home runs, 10 RBI and six runs scored.

    For a middle-of-the-order bat that at one point recently was mired in a 14-for-94 slump, a few factors helped right the ship for Reddick.

    One was manager Bob Melvin's decision to move Reddick down to sixth in the lineup. When that happened Aug. 25 in Tampa, Reddick responded by going 3 for 4 with a double.

    "That first day, it took a lot of pressure off. I had a lot of family in Tampa, so maybe that added a little pressure there," Reddick said. "I was grinding for that whole month and I guess it just kept building up and building up. To get done and out of there and not try to put the whole team on my back helped out a lot."

    Reddick also said he had to make a fundamental adjustment. He credited Chili Davis, saying that drill work with the hitting coach helped shorten Reddick's swing and took the focus off hitting home runs.

    "When I get long, the effort level gets too hard and the head starts flying and that's where all the strikeouts come from," Reddick said. "Earlier in the month, that's where all the strikeouts and struggles came from. You look back on video, the head was flying and I was trying to hit the ball way too far."

  • Reliever Jim Miller was recalled from Single-A Stockton, rejoining the team after being optioned last Friday. Because Stockton's season ended and Triple-A Sacramento is in the playoffs, Miller was sent to the Ports so he could avoid the 10-day waiting period to be brought back to the majors.

  • Tuesday was the 10-year anniversary of Scott Hatteberg's walk-off home run against the Royals that gave the A's a 12-11 win and their 20th consecutive victory.

    Follow Ben Enos on Twitter at @ben_enos.

    WEDNESDAY'S GAME

    L.A. Angels (Dan Haren 9-10) at A's Brandon McCarthy (8-5) vs., 12:35 p.m. CSNCA
    A.L. Wild-card race

    W L Pct. GB
    A's 76 59 .563 --
    Balt./NYY 76 59 .563 --
    Tampa Bay 75 61 .551 1½
    L.A. Angels 73 63 .533 3½
    Detroit 72 63 .533 4
    Note: Top two teams earn wild-card berths.

    A.L. WEST RACE

    W L Pct. GB
    Texas 80 55 .593 --
    A's 76 59 .563 4