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Oakland Athletics pitching coach Curt Young, left, talks with third base umpire John Hirschbeck after an argument with first base umpire Jim Reynolds as catcher John Jaso (5) and pitcher Jarrod Parker (11) wait on the mound in the third inning of their MLB game against Baltimore Orioles at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, April 25, 2013. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND -- Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Joe Rudi and several other Swingin' A's will return to the Coliseum this weekend for a celebration of the 1973 World Series champs.

The current A's would be happy enough to turn back the clock to a year ago, those halcyon days when their rotation was reliably dominant.

Jarrod Parker became the latest in the stumbling parade of A's starters Thursday night as the Baltimore Orioles triumphed 10-2, pounding Parker for six runs in 51/3 innings. Every Orioles batter had at least one hit, and everyone except Ryan Flaherty either scored a run or drove someone home.

Parker's ERA now sits at 8.10 -- more than double what it was a year ago when his 3.47 mark was the lowest among rookies with at least 130 innings.

The right-hander is hardly alone in his missing mojo: The team that rode an emerging young rotation to the 2012 American League West title is rarely getting a quality outing: A's starters are 5-8 with a 6.12 ERA over the past 16 games, and batters are pounding them at a .306 clip.

Remove Barolo Colon from the occasion, and A's starters are 3-8 with a 7.44 ERA.

And if that isn't enough to put Curt Young in a sour mood, the A's pitching coach was ejected in the third inning by first-base umpire Jim Reynolds. Young was apparently upset at a no-call on a check swing by Orioles designated hitter Nolan Reimold.

Young, a big-league pitching coach since 2004, said he believes it was his first career ejection.


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It was part of a frustrating night for the A's, who have lost six of seven games. They are 11-2 against the A.L. West -- and 2-8 against everybody else.

"We had a stinker tonight," manager Bob Melvin said.

Tougher to explain are the troubles of Parker (0-4), who took a big step back after a strong outing in his previous start. This time, he was around the plate (62 of his 98 pitches were strikes) but too often in the middle of it. He allowed eight hits, including Chris Davis' eighth home run.

It was the fifth home run given up by Parker this season in just 231/3 innings. He surrendered only 11 home runs all of last season (1811/3 innings).

Parker said his confidence in his stuff remains high but added: "Obviously, I have to figure some things out."

Melvin said there were times Thursday "when it looked like (Parker) got a little out of sync,'' especially when an inning started to go haywire. Parker said he was embarrassed that the A's took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second, only to have it unravel in the next half inning when the Orioles scored three.

While the A's starting pitching is a mystery, Melvin hopes the offense will get a lift with the looming return of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

Cespedes, on the disabled list since April 13, will return Sunday if all goes smoothly with his rehabilitation games for Triple-A Sacramento. In his first rehab game Thursday night, Cespedes went 1 for 4 with an RBI and two strikeouts as the River Cats designated hitter.

The A's are 5-8 since Cespedes sustained a strained muscle in his left hand. They are 8-2 when he starts.

"There's no doubt. He's a force in our lineup," Melvin said. "Even when he's not swinging well, he still has an impact because everybody around him knows they don't have to be 'the guy.' They can relax."

  • Utility man Adam Rosales (strained left intercostal) was reinstated from the disabled list and went 1 for 2 off the bench. To make room on the roster, the A's optioned infielder Andy Parrino to Triple-A Sacramento.

  • Some members of the '73 team will arrive Friday for an autograph session to benefit the Jim "Catfish" Hunter ALS Foundation. (More information is available at www.oaklandathletics.com/1973.)

    today's Game

    Baltimore (Wei-Yin Chen 1-2) at A's (Tommy Milone 3-1), 7:05 p.m. CSNCA