A's crush White Sox in Graveman's 2-hit gem

A's crush White Sox in Graveman's 2-hit gem

CHICAGO -- Kendall Graveman was razor sharp on the mound for the A's. James Shields definitely was not for the White Sox, and those two facts pretty much sum up Oakland's 9-0 victory over the White Sox on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field. Oakland's dominance ended a five-game losing streak, while the White Sox have lost four of five.

Graveman allowed two hits, on singles by Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton, facing the minimum of 21 through seven innings thanks to a pair of double plays. He struck out five and didn't issue a walk in a 98-pitch complete game, the first shutout of his career, while never allowing a White Sox runner to reach second base.

"The shutout doesn't mean as much as a complete game," Graveman said. "To eat up innings and get deep in the ballgame, it means you're throwing the ball well, even if you're giving up one or two runs. To go nine innings in this league is something special, and I don't take that for granted."

Graveman's first career shutout

"His ball moves a lot," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who watched his team get shut out for the ninth time. "We didn't get anything done. I mean all the way around it wasn't a good night for us. But I think with him, just his velocity, and being able to run it in and sink it. It just looked like his ball was moving all over the place and he had some velocity to it."

Shields was bad for a fourth straight start, after putting together a high-quality month of July. He lasted 4 2/3 innings, yielding six earned runs on eight hits (three home runs), with three walks and three strikeouts. In his last four starts, Shields has given up 27 earned runs on 33 hits in 14 innings, with five strikeouts, eight walks and nine home runs. During his 69 2/3 innings as a member of the White Sox, opponents have tagged Shields for 20 homers.

"When he locates pitches well he can help us out," White Sox catcher Dioner Navarro said of Shields. "Right now, he's just, he has to keep grinding and find something that clicks. I still believe that he's going to help us out."

Alonso's two-run homer

Khris Davis, Stephen Vogt and Yonder Alonso all went deep for the A's. Davis also singled in the second and doubled in the fifth, leaving him a triple short of the cycle. He was hit by a pitch from Michael Ynoa in the ninth and came around to score his fourth run of the night.

"We had some good at-bats," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We haven't had a game like this in I can't remember how long, where we score a bunch of runs and had a pitcher doing his thing and added on to where you can semi-relax. It was good to see on both ends. The offense was terrific, and Kendall was even better than that."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Homer happy: The A's relied on the long ball to help them get back in the win column, getting five of their runs on home runs from their 3-4-5 hitters. Davis, whose 31 homers are tied for third-most in the Majors, is the first A's player to hit more than 30 home runs in a season since Josh Reddick totaled 32 in 2012. Oakland had averaged just 2.8 runs in its previous 13 games.

Davis' huge homer

A little glove work: There wasn't much that was memorable for the White Sox in this one, aside from Lou Ferrigno throwing out a first pitch on Superhero Night. But Carlos Sanchez and Abreu did turn in a couple of nice defensive efforts, with Sanchez making a nice running catch down the right-field line to take a hit away from Alonso.

Sanchez's long run and catch

Cruise control: Graveman, who had a 5.40 ERA in his last four starts, was absolutely dominant in his latest outing, making quick work of the White Sox and retiring 14 in a row at one point. Not one White Sox batter reached second base under the watch of Graveman, who needed just 98 pitches to get through his second career nine-inning complete game. More >

"I thought we mixed pitches well, especially first pitch the second and third time through to keep guys off-balance, then we went right back to the bread and butter, the sinker," Graveman said. "That was the key, was when we needed to change speeds we threw them for strikes and got some weak contact."

Ventura on the 9-0 loss

QUOTABLE
"I'm just not making my pitches." -- Shields, who said he feels good despite getting hit hard over his last four starts

Shields seeks answers after A's light up scoreboard

Vogt's solo home run

WHAT'S NEXT
Athletics: Left-hander Ross Detwiler, who is 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA in two starts for the A's, will be on the mound Saturday for a matchup with the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. PT.

White Sox: Chris Sale makes his seventh attempt at win No. 15, as he takes the mound for Game 2 of this three-game set. The five-time All-Star stands at 0-4 with a 4.43 ERA over his last six starts, striking out 39 in 40 2/3 innings. Sale last won on July 2 in Houston.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.