3/27/2013 7:30 P.M. ET
Parker struggles in final Cactus League game
Right-hander allows four runs in 4 1/3 innings, giving up three home runs
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- The Rockies' Dexter Fowler cracked a pair of home runs to center field against A's starter Jarrod Parker, but the A's rallied for a 6-5 victory in their final game of the spring at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin, making his final spring appearance before taking the ball on Opening Day, allowed six earned runs on 10 hits to take the loss. Parker, who will pitch the second game of the season next Tuesday, went 4 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits including three homers, before reliever Hideki Okajima finished out the fifth to get the victory.
With the victory, the A's finished up Cactus League play going 6-0-1 in their last seven games.
"We played well at the end, which is what you want," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You want to ramp it up somewhat going into the season. We have three more games [against the Giants] that have a little more intensity than Spring Training games, and then the season starts.
"As far as the progression goes, as a team ... we played a lot better, crisper games for us, so it's a good progression."
Fowler led off the game with a shot to center off Parker and Troy Tulowitzki followed with an RBI single to give Colorado an early 2-0 edge. Yeonis Cespedes singled and pinch-runner Luke Montz scored in the second to get the A's on the board, and Oakland rallied for a three-run fourth inning with a leadoff homer from Minor Leaguer Jeremy Barfield and two manufactured runs.
Fowler hit his second homer and fourth of the spring almost to the same spot off Parker to lead off the fifth, and Tulowitzki followed with a solo shot to left to give Colorado a 5-4 lead.
Tulowitzki went 3-for-4, coming within a triple of hitting for the cycle. Chris Nelson also homered for the Rockies.
Nate Freiman hit a shot to center that glanced off Fowler's glove as he tracked toward the fence, driving in a pair of runs to put the A's ahead in the bottom of the fifth.
Up Next: The Bay Bridge Series with the Giants begins Thursday at AT&T Park, and left-hander Tommy Milone will be making the start against the Giants' Tim Lincecum in a 7:15 p.m. PT start. The A's will be looking hard at their middle-infield situation, including determining whether shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima will be ready to go for Opening Day after sustaining a hamstring injury on Tuesday.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.