By Willie Bans and Alex Espinoza
Special to MLB.com |
OAKLAND -- The White Sox put together a four-rally in the fifth inning en route to a 7-3 win over the A's on Sunday at the Coliseum. The victory secured Chicago's first series sweep and it reached the .500 mark for the first time this year while sending Oakland to its fourth straight loss and 10th in 11 games.
The White Sox took advantage of some sloppy defense by the A's in the fifth, as Adam Eaton reached on an error to begin the frame. He eventually scored when Jose Abreu scorched one past Brett Lawrie for an RBI single to knot the score at 2.
After A's starter Scott Kazmir walked Gordon Beckham with the bases loaded, he couldn't handle a sharp ground ball from Alexei Ramirez and it deflected off his glove into left for a two-run single, making it 5-2 White Sox. Chicago added some insurance runs with Avisail Garcia's two-run blast in the ninth.
Kazmir only lasted 4 1/3 innings -- marking the first time all year he didn't pitch at least six innings -- and was charged with five runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks.
White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija fared well against his former team, allowing a two-run homer to Max Muncy in the fourth and another run in the fifth. He finished eight innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out five.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hitting the ground running: It's one thing to have the opposing team commit errors; it's another to capitalize on them. The White Sox did on Sunday. With the A's struggling defensively, Chicago's choppers and grounders aided the scoring. Ramirez chopped one that deflected off Kazmir's glove into left field, scoring two runs and making it 5-2 in the fifth.
"They're aggressive," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "They were running out of the box, first. I think that's the most important. These guys, they take it serious about getting out of the box, especially with the way the balls were bouncing around, and you have to be able to push on it when you have a chance. We're aggressive that way."
Errors again: The A's finished the contest with four errors, marking the 14th straight game they have committed at least one defensive miscue. The club now has 42 errors, which have lead to 29 unearned runs, both MLB worsts.
"We've got to play better. Make the plays that come to us and I think we'll do better as a team," said A's shortstop Marcus Semien, after committing his MLB-worst 13th error. More >
Muncy goes yard: Making the start at first base in place of the injured Ike Davis, Muncy gave the A's a 2-1 lead in the fourth when he took Samardzija deep to right-center-field with a two-run homer. It marked the first Major League home run for the A's rookie in the 13th game of his career. Naturally, his teammates gave him the silent treatment once he got back to the dugout. More >
Shark strength: In his first start against Oakland, Samardzija looked better the more pitches he threw and his 120 were his most this season. Samardzija's biggest mistake was Muncy's homer on an 0-2 count.
"I felt pretty good," Samardzija said. "All the pitches were in the zone. The three walks hurt, but I felt as the game went on I felt more comfortable." More >
"We don't have a choice. We have to. You look at our record right now, we're behind the 8-ball. You talk all you want about, 'It'll turn, it'll turn.' We have to make it turn. It starts with playing cleaner games." -- A's manager Bob Melvin, on if A's have confidence to turn it around
"That's what I do. I'm a 19th-round draft pick. I went to a mid-major school. I've been forgotten. I have to give it my all every day and prove to these guys that I belong here. I want to make a play for them, not for myself. Couldn't do it today, but tomorrow hopefully I will." -- Eaton, on his leap and crash at the right-center-field wall to almost rob Muncy of his home run.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The A's are now 1-12 in day games this year, which is the worst mark in MLB.
White Sox:Chris Sale (3-1, 5.09 ERA) represents the White Sox in a battle of aces, opposed by Cleveland's Corey Kluber (1-5, 4.27 ERA) following his instant classic 18-strikeout start last week. The teams begin their three-game series at 7:10 p.m. CT Monday in Cleveland.
Athletics: Lefty Drew Pomeranz (2-3, 4.42 ERA) will look to keep his good momentum going when the A's head to Houston for Monday's 5:10 p.m. PT series opener. In his last start, Pomeranz held the Red Sox to two runs (one earned) over seven innings of work. Pomeranz will oppose Astros right-hander Lance McCullers, who is set to make his MLB debut.