SEATTLE -- The A's have been looking for someone to step up and get them out of a five-game losing streak.
On Saturday night at Safeco Field, it seemed as if everyone stepped up in a 4-3 win over Seattle that not only got Oakland back to .500 at 19-19 but also kept the Mariners from leapfrogging the A's for second place in the American League West.
Starter Jarrod Parker had a one-hitter going for six innings and left the game with a 4-2 lead.
Josh Donaldson, Daric Barton and Brandon Moss each hit solo home runs.
Pitching for the first time in six days, Grant Balfour closed it out with a scoreless ninth inning after two men reached base.
Shortstop Jed Lowrie had three hits, including an RBI single, and made what any other time would be the defensive play of the night, picking up a throw in the dirt from Parker to get a much-needed out in the fifth inning.
Catcher Derek Norris picked Mariners leadoff hitter Michael Saunders off first base, another one for the highlight reels.
But the play of the game was the sixth-inning running catch just in front of the wall in left-center field by center fielder Yoenis Cespedes.
Kyle Seager, the Mariner who hit the ball, ran hard to second base, then unable to tell if Cespedes caught the ball, slowed to one-quarter speed before coming to the conclusion that Cespedes had denied him either a double or a homer.
"That was a great catch. There was no room at the wall," Balfour said of Cespedes' grab. "It's great to see a guy lay it all out there and put his body on the line."
That play was symbolic of the kind of fight the A's hadn't always shown in the previous five games. But all night, when a play had to be made, someone stood up and got it done.
"That was an awesome catch," Parker said. "He's an unbelievable athlete. Nothing he does should surprise us. He might have been the only one in the park who knew he caught it."
As good as the catch was, the game was far from over. Parker left with two men on in the seventh inning, and reliever Sean Doolittle gave up an RBI single that cut the lead to 4-3. From that point on, however, the A's bullpen struggled but emerged triumphant.
Doolittle got two outs with two on to end the seventh.
Ryan Cook loaded the bases but struck out Endy Chavez to end the eighth.
And Balfour put two on before getting Seager, the owner of the best batting average among Seattle regulars, to ground out.
"That's how we do it," manager Bob Melvin said. "Bullpen strength is how we win games."
Bullpen strength won't do it alone, however.
In the past few days it had been one defensive gaffe after another. Not all of them were errors, but none of them helped. There was none of that Saturday.
Parker was particularly impressed by Lowrie's ability to dig out his throw in the dirt in the fifth.
Parker had just issued his fourth and final walk of the game when Dustin Ackley hit a ball right back to the mound.
Parker could have gotten a double play, but he was able to get one when Lowrie, playing with 16 friends and family members in the stands, scooped it up.
Moments later Kelly Shoppach got the first Seattle hit, a two-run home run. Without Lowrie, it would have been a three-run shot to tie the game.
"I almost got caught up in (the no-hitter)," Parker admitted. "I got the ball up and he (Shoppach) got it. But we won, and that's what's important."
If all goes well, he would then start Friday in Oakland against Kansas City.
He's being sent to Arizona and the A's extended spring training camp for games to test his left quad injury Monday and Tuesday, then is expected to be activated in time for the series finale against Texas.
He has not yet started to run to test the hamstring, although Melvin said before Saturday's game that could happen in the next few days.
A's (Tommy Milone 3-4) at Seattle (Joe Saunders 2-4), 1:10 p.m. CSNCA