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BOS@OAK: Melvin discusses Parker's continued success

The last time the Yankees came to Oakland in May, they left town with a three-game sweep.

What a difference a few months makes.

The two teams take the field with the A's vying for their third straight win against the Yankees, which would seal a series win in the four-game set.

Oakland hasn't taken -- or tied -- a series at home against the Bombers since April 2007.

The surging A's, who are 12-2 in July, are winners of seven of their last eight games after Friday's 3-2 walk-off win, having rebounded from a rough start to the season to be right at the heart of the American League Wild Card race. The Yankees, owners of the best record in baseball, came to Oakland having won nine of their last 11 before dropping the first two games of the series.

Jarrod Parker takes the mound for the A's after having stumbled in his last two starts following a strong first half, giving up a combined 10 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings. The 23-year-old Parker is 6-4 with a 3.16 ERA this season.

"You're going to go through ups and downs over the course of a season," A's manager Bob Melvin said Friday. "If those are his low points, what we've seen recently, we'll take that. He's been really good regardless. I don't think tomorrow's any new kind of test for him."

Phil Hughes will be tasked with turning the momentum for the Yankees, and he limited the Blue Jays to two earned runs on four hits in seven innings in his last start despite repeatedly falling behind the count.

"It was a battle today," Hughes said after his last start. "I had a good fastball, but I was constantly behind in counts and trying to battle back into counts. It was tough. It was a grind, but I hung in there and just tried to keep it close. Unfortunately I gave up a lead, but the other guys battled back and got a win out of it."

Yankees: Chamberlain makes rehab start
• Joba Chamberlain made a two-inning start for Class A Advanced Tampa Yankees on Friday, his fourth rehab appearance and his first above the rookie-ball level.

Chamberlain gave up two runs (one earned) on a pair of hits as he continues his march back to the Majors after elbow and ankle surgeries.

Pitchers are allowed 30 days of rehab in the Minors, and Chamberlain began his assignment on July 10.

Athletics: Pennington place on DL
• The A's placed Cliff Pennington on the 15-day disabled list Friday with left elbow tendinitis. Eric Sogard was called up to take his roster spot, and Sogard got the start at shortstop against the Yankees on Friday, going 1-for-4 with a triple.

Pennington has batted .197 this season, and will continue taking ground balls at shortstop while he is sidelined but will not swing a bat.

Worth noting
• Sunday's Yankees starter CC Sabathia turns 32 on Saturday.

• The Yankees have hit a home run in 11 straight games. The A's had entered Friday's game having homered in six straight games, but did not hit one out in the win.

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