OAKLAND -- The A's did a lot of good things Saturday night against the Baltimore Orioles, and Stephen Drew was at the heart of many of them.

The shortstop played his finest game as a member of the A's in a 5-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

For all the talk about the wild-card race, the A's are only two games behind division-leading Texas. That's the closest the A's have been to the American League West lead since April 13.

"We know that stuff's going on," winning pitcher Jarrod Parker said of the division race. "We just want to win. We control our own destiny. If we take care of our business, good things are going to happen."

Drew, acquired from Arizona on Aug. 20, hit a home run to right off Zach Britton (5-3) that ignited a five-run third inning in which the A's batted around and erased a 2-0 deficit.

Drew's finest work came with the glove, however. He made a perfect relay throw in the fourth inning to nail Adam Jones, who tried to score from first on Chris Davis' double to the left-field corner.

Drew made a backhand stab of Robert Andino's liner in the fifth but saved his best play for the seventh, when he went up the middle to field Endy Chavez's grounder and made a glove flip to second for a force-out.

"He's running to the left-field line, up the middle, everywhere," Parker said. "That's fun to watch. He's able to make some great plays, and that helps me out mentally to continue attacking and trusting that he's going to make every play."

Parker (11-8) scattered seven hits over seven innings, and the rookie has allowed just five earned runs in 21 innings during three September starts.

The A's clinched the season series with the Orioles -- they lead 5-3 with only Sunday's finale remaining -- and that will come in handy if the teams wind up tied atop the A.L. wild-card standings.

In that case, Oakland would host Baltimore in the "play-in" game for the right to advance to the A.L. Division Series.

Drew, who was obtained from Arizona for minor league infielder Sean Jamieson, is enjoying life with his new team.

"It's kind of crazy how this team works sometimes," he said. "It's 2-1, and then I come up again for the second time in an inning. That's a good feeling to have on this team, that anybody, anytime (can produce)."

  • A's catcher Derek Norris has thrown out just 5 of 33 runners on steal attempts, but the strike he fired to second to seal Friday night's victory over Baltimore indicated his hard work might be paying off.

    Norris nailed Xavier Avery for the final out in the top of the ninth with one of his best throws since making his major league debut June 21.

    "It's one of the better feelings I've had besides the walk-off," Norris said, referring to the winning homer he hit June 24 against the Giants.

    A's manager Bob Melvin said Norris has the tools to be a standout all-around catcher much like the Orioles' Matt Wieters. But Norris' throwing has left something to be desired.

    He has worked with Melvin, a former catcher, as well as A's bench coach Chip Hale and Triple-A Sacramento manager Darren Bush, who is now with the A's through the end of the season.

    "We were just kind of fixing a few things with my footwork," Norris said. "It's got to the point now where it's nice and fluid. I'm working toward second base instead of trying to fight it."

  • Melvin declined to speculate whether reliever Jordan Norberto (shoulder tendinitis) or infielder Eric Sogard (high ankle sprain) will return before the season ends.

    Norberto has not thrown since going on the disabled list Aug. 21. He has a 2.77 ERA in 39 games and has allowed just 37 hits in 52 innings.

    "We do feel like we have good depth in our bullpen, but he was a major contributor," Melvin said. "He got righties out, he got lefties out, he gave us length, and he pitched late in games. ... If he doesn't pitch again, he's already had a spectacular year for us."

    Sogard is jogging and hitting off a tee, but he reiterated the A's are bringing him along slowly because they want to make sure his ankle is fully healed.

  • After the A's sellout on fireworks night Friday, attendance dipped to 20,342 on Saturday.

  • Josh Reddick leads the A's with 28 homers and Yoenis Cespedes is in second place with 19.

    Oakland hasn't had two 20-plus-homer hitters since 2007, when Jack Cust had 26 and Nick Swisher had 22.

  • A's starters have walked three batters or fewer in each of the past 44 games, their longest streak since at least 1921.

    For more on the A's, go to Joe Stiglich's blog at ibabuzz.com/athletics and follow him at twitter.com/joestiglich.