"We were just outplayed all the way around," Ventura said. "Offensively, defensively. One of those nights nothing went right."
In a matchup of two starting pitchers who have been thrust into their respective starting rotations recently, A's lefty Drew Pomeranz outdueled White Sox righty Scott Carroll. Behind Pomeranz's five shutout innings and a robust offensive effort, Oakland cruised to a blowout victory.
Carroll, making his fourth start since Chris Sale and Felipe Paulino went down with injuries in April, held his own for four frames but was undone by a hit parade in the fifth.
Oakland was already leading, 2-0, when Carroll surrendered a trio of doubles -- one each to John Jaso, Yoenis Cespedes and Derek Norris -- to put Chicago in a four-run hole. Then Josh Reddick broke the game open with a two-run shot to right field that bounced off the top of the fence.
"What's frustrating, though, is that it's with two outs and two strikes," Carroll said of Reddick's home run. "Things we can obviously work on and correct, but it's just kind of leaving me a little salty because I know I'm better than that. Deep in the count like that -- as good as a hitting team as they are -- you got to put them away and make quality pitches."
The A's were also able to push across runs in the first and third innings. Carroll finished five innings, allowing six earned runs on 11 hits and a walk while striking out one. The loss moved his record to 1-3 and his ERA jumped from 3.63 to 5.24.
While Ventura saw some quality flashes from Carroll early, things got out of hand in his final frame.
"There were spurts of it," Ventura said, "but, in the end, he stayed too much in the middle and he missed some spots. These guys are swinging."
Carroll said he still took away some positives from his outing, despite being knocked around for the second straight start. He gave up six runs over four innings against the Cubs last week.
"There's obviously stuff to build on. I did some good things," Carroll said. "Made some good pitches, but I didn't make enough when it counted and that's what it comes down to. Just got to do better next time."
Once Carroll left the game, Oakland kept pouring it on. Jed Lowrie hit an RBI double in the sixth against Frank Francisco before Brandon Moss drove him home with a no-doubt, two-run shot to right field, making the score 9-0. Moss made it 11-0 with another two-run homer in the eighth off of Matt Lindstrom, helping the A's match their season high with 17 hits.
"Those kind of nights are fun," Moss said. "Guys are going up there having good at-bats, grinding out good at-bats early. We ended up kinda running away with it there at the end."
All the while, the White Sox bats couldn't get anything going against Pomeranz and Oakland's stingy relief corps.
Pomeranz, who started the year in the A's bullpen, made his first start since being named to the Oakland rotation for a demoted Dan Straily. The 25-year-old lefty has impressed his new organization since being acquired from Colorado in the Brett Anderson trade this past offseason.
Pomeranz earned his spot by throwing five shutout innings in a doubleheader last week, and he did the same this time around. Despite being on a limited pitch count, Pomeranz struck out a career-high eight while allowing three hits and two walks. He needed just 82 pitches to get through his outing, lowering his ERA to 1.14 in 23 2/3 innings.
"There were pitches out of the zone, too, that we swung at," leadoff man Marcus Semien said after going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. "He had a two-pitch mix and kept us off balance with that. He did a good job with his stuff."
Chicago (19-22) has lost five of six and will turn to righty Andre Rienzo in Wednesday's series finale, when the A's (25-15) will go for their fifth sweep of the season.
"As an offense, you don't want to get shut out, but it happens sometimes," Semien said. "It's about bouncing back the next day."