OAKLAND -- Remember that formula the A's were waxing poetic on after Monday's matinee defeat of the Giants, the one about quality starting pitching, timely hitting and lights-out relievers?
It was more of the same Tuesday as the A's pulled off a home sweep of their cross-bay rivals with a 6-3 interleague victory over the Giants.
The difference, though, was the weighted, you might say starring role Oakland right-hander Jarrod Parker played in the win, going seven innings for his third straight start while flummoxing the Giants hitters after a shaky first inning in which he surrendered a run and faced six batters.
After the first, Parker faced just two batters over the minimum, and said he did nothing different in those innings than in the opening frame.
"I didn't change my approach," he said. "It was a long first (inning). I just wanted to keep every inning going. Get a 13-14-pitch average inning."
He ended up averaging 13.4 pitches per inning while quieting the Giants' bats.
"It's not something I'm going to hang my hat on or get too excited about," said the non-excitable Parker, who improved to 3-6 after giving up two runs and five hits in his seven innings, walking one and striking out four.
"But it's something we've been working on."
Indeed, it all begs the chicken-and-the-egg question, as in what comes first -- confidence or positive results?
A's manager Bob Melvin said he'd hate to think that a struggling player would say he'd need to have success to generate confidence.
"What I do preach," Melvin said, "you've had success before. Draw from that. Draw back from what made you successful before."
Because really, if they weren't successful before, they would have no business being in a big league clubhouse, right?
Parker began the season 0-4 and questions began to swirl, A's catcher Derek Norris acknowledged. Even if the talent was there all along. The patience, then, has been rewarded in Parker's last four starts, in which he is 2-1 with 19 strikeouts, eight walks and a 2.96 ERA.
"He's a force for us," said Norris, who gave Parker a 2-1 lead with his two-run home run in the second inning. "He has the capability of going a complete game for us. He's that talented."
Chicken or egg? Confidence or success? For one night, anyway, it all added up to another win over the defending World Series champions.