Athletics chase a third straight AL West crown

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By AP

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Updated: Tue, 25 Mar 2014 03:15:36 EST

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Before the season has even begun, the Oakland Athletics are dealing with a devastating injury that could affect their chances of chasing a third straight AL West title.

Right-hander Jarrod Parker, who had been the projected opening day starter, was lost to a season-ending elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery — his second such procedure.

Like every year with this low-budget club, somebody always seems to step in and fill the void. Whether that will be enough for Bob Melvin's bunch in a much-improved division is to be determined.

Even before Parker went down, Oakland considered its club an underdog despite winning the last two AL West crowns.

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