A’s pitching comes through when they need it

Some odds and ends from the A’s 3-1 victory Monday night over the Angels …

–They say it all begins with starting pitching, right? The A’s definitely got it in a 3-1 victory to open this four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. Jarrod Parker was terrific in his first start at Angel Stadium: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K. I made note of this in my game story, but the soft-spoken Parker even sounded more assertive in his postgame media address. Not that he usually comes across passive, just very low-key. He sounded like a young pitcher who knew he just came up with a big performance.

“These are the kinds of starts we need, and everyone is going to feed off this kind of energy,” Parker said. “Game one is always good to set the tone.”

A’s starters have issued three or fewer walks in 39 straight games, the second-longest streak in Oakland history. It’s up to Dan Straily, another of the A’s four rookie starters, to continue what Parker started Tuesday.

Speaking of Straily, I chatted with him before the game. He says he’s “champing at the bit” to get back on the mound. Straily will be going on eight days’ rest — and it marks his first start since being recalled for his second big league stint — but he thinks the rest will do him good at this point in the season. Straily faced the Angels in one of his previous three starts for Oakland — he gave up four homers at the Coliseum. After that start, pitching coach Curt Young instructed him to only watch film of his first inning that day, when he pitched well. To gear up for this start, Straily said he watched film of the rest of that outing to try to learn something.

“Pretty much all of their hits they got were when I fell behind,” Straily said. “I was pitching myself into fastball counts and missed with my fastball location.”

It’s gotta be tough for a young guy to get a call-up and then have to sit for four days before he gets on the field. Straily will get his chance on a big stage Tuesday. …

Joe Stiglich