Parker posts Mays-like performance at plate

Rookie becomes first Giants player since Hall of Famer with at least 3 HRs, 7 RBIs in a game

Parker posts Mays-like performance at plate

OAKLAND -- Paging Mr. Mays, Mr. Willie Mays. Sir, you're wanted in the comparisons department, though nobody truly belongs there with you.

Yet it became possible to imagine such an announcement blaring over the public-address system of baseball history Saturday, when Giants rookie Jarrett Parker clobbered three homers and drove in seven runs. Parker concluded his shower of power with a tiebreaking grand slam in the eighth inning that helped lift San Francisco over Oakland, 14-10, in a wild Interleague affair.

Parker usurped the afternoon's anticipated theme -- the nostalgic, feel-good pitching matchup between Oakland's Barry Zito and San Francisco's Tim Hudson, the ex-A's mates. Both were gone by the end of the third inning. Parker gladly occupied center stage, securing his spot there when his slam off Ryan Dull broke a 10-10 deadlock.

Parker's go-ahead grand slam

Parker invoked the greatest name in franchise history with his prodigious output. The last Giant to amass as many homers and RBIs in a single game was the legendary Mays, who collected four homers and drove in eight runs at Milwaukee on April 30, 1961. Told that he had linked himself to the Say Hey Kid, Parker responded in the only way possible.

"That makes me speechless," he said.

This contrasts with the considerable buzz that Parker has created with his slugging. He has homered in three consecutive games; in fact, his last five hits are home runs. He's batting .500 (9-for-18) with eight runs, a double, six homers and 12 RBIs since he was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Sept. 11.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who's not given to hyperbole, called Parker's torrent of hitting "the best offensive game I've ever seen."

Bear in mind that Bochy managed Tony Gwynn, who won eight batting titles with the Padres, and Giants slugger Barry Bonds in his final season. Bochy also may have temporarily forgotten about Pablo Sandoval's three-homer binge in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series.

Parker became the first Giants rookie since Brandon Belt in 2011 to record a multi-homer game and homer in three successive games. He recorded San Francisco's first three-homer game since Sandoval in 2013. And he is the first rookie with a three-homer game since the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen on Aug. 1, 2009, against the Nationals.

But what ultimately matters most is that Parker, 26, has played himself into consideration for a spot on the 2016 Opening Day roster, if not a place in the starting outfield. He tripped while trying to settle under Mark Canha's third-inning fly ball, which fell for an RBI double. But he's capable of playing all three outfield spots, augmenting his chances of finding a position.

"He's opened up a lot of eyes, obviously," Bochy said. "He's a guy definitely in the mix when you talk about next year."

Parker, who has repeated that he has become more aggressive and intent at the plate since going 1-for-9 in a June cameo with the Giants, certainly seems driven to excel.

"I tried to get him to smile. That kid's locked in," A's catcher Stephen Vogt said. "I tried to make jokes with him, get him to laugh when he's coming up to hit, but there's no doing that right now. He's locked in. He's hitting everything right now."

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.