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OAK@LAA: Parker stellar over seven to earn win No. 10

The Athletics have a trio of talented young pitchers who are about to receive yet another test in this late-season push that has Oakland on the brink of a playoff spot. This weekend, they'll all pitch at Yankee Stadium for the first time.

Jarrod Parker, Travis Blackley and A.J. Griffin will all make their first career starts in the Bronx this weekend when the A's head to New York to take on the American League East-leading Yankees in a marquee three-game set.

The series kicks off Friday night when Parker and New York lefty CC Sabathia face off.

"It's just something they have to experience," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I know it will be exciting for all of them. It's a talented bunch of guys that have pitched everywhere at this point, except for Yankee Stadium."

After beating the Tigers on Thursday, the A's, tied with the Orioles for the top AL Wild Card spot, led the division rival Angels by four games. The Yankees, who beat the Blue Jays, 10-7, on Thursday night, lead the Orioles by one game in the AL East.

Parker has one other career start against the Yankees -- an outing he won in which he threw a career-high eight innings, allowing one run on five hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

A's pitchers have allowed 31 earned runs in 34 innings over the past four games, after yielding just 19 in 80 innings over the previous nine.

Parker will be up against a powerful New York lineup and Sabathia, who is in a bit of a rut of his own. The lefty has allowed nine earned runs in 13 combined innings in his last two starts -- both losses -- after suffering a defeat at the hands of the Rays in his last start.

"He just looked like he started missing his spots," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of a three-run Rays fifth that was Sabathia's undoing.

Yankees: Tex swings in cage

• Mark Teixeira took swings in the indoor batting cage at Yankee Stadium before Thursday's series finale against the Blue Jays and plans to travel to Tampa, Fla., on Monday where he will increase his workload with baseball activities in instructional league games.

Teixeira said there is no specific timetable for his return after an earlier attempt to rush back caused him to miss the past 10 games.

"I don't want to put any timetable on it, because we tried to do that last time and it put unwanted pressure on everybody," Teixeira said. "We all wanted me to be back as soon as possible and I wasn't, I wasn't ready. I'm going to take it day by day, and when the doctors tell me I'm clear, when the trainers tell me I'm clear, when the strength coach and baseball people all tell me that I'm normal and running fine, then I'll be out there playing."

Teixeira continues to receive treatment, with some workouts in a pool.

Athletics: Oakland hoping to have Crisp back
• Coco Crisp (pink eye) showed improvement on Thursday, and Melvin said he is optimistic, but not certain, about the outfielder returning to the starting lineup Friday.

• MRI results on Brett Anderson's strained right oblique had yet to arrive as of Thursday morning, but Melvin maintained that "there's a good chance he won't make his next start."

"Beyond that, we're not sure," Melvin said. "I'm just saying right now I would forecast potentially not, and of course we're going to be careful with him."

That means righty Dan Straily is likely to start Monday in Texas in place of the left-handed Anderson, who departed in the third inning of Wednesday's loss to the Tigers after experiencing soreness in his oblique. Straily was originally scheduled to pitch Saturday in New York, but that start was awarded to the southpaw Blackley for matchup purposes.

Worth noting
• The A's announced Thursday that Comcast SportNet California will broadcast Oakland's game against the Rangers on Sept. 27. Coverage will begin with A's Pregame Live at 10:30 a.m. PT, followed by the game telecast at 11 a.m., and A's Postgame Live after the game.

• The Yankees have not activated outfielder Brett Gardner, but they expect to do so in the near future. Coming off arthroscopic right elbow surgery performed in July, Gardner is likely to fill a pinch-running role in the season's final two weeks, with some defensive duty also possible. Comments