CHICAGO (AP)—One strike from their 11th consecutive loss, the OaklandAthletics showed interim manager Bob Melvin the desire to win is still there.
Scott Sizemore(notes) hit a go-ahead three-run double to rally the OaklandAthletics past the Chicago White Sox 7-5 Friday night.
“Until you make that last out and that last strike, you’re still alive,”Melvin said. “During streaks like that, you go down easy at the end and tonightthat just wasn’t the case. That’s always a sign that you’re going to come out ofit.”
The A’s won their first game under Melvin. Oakland made the majors’ firstmanagerial change of 2011 by firing Bob Geren after four-plus seasons Thursdayand replacing him with Melvin.
“Did you see everybody up on the railing?” Melvin asked. “They did thaton their own. I noticed at the beginning of the inning, everybody that who wasat the back of the bench came up to the top rail because everybody had a goodfeeling about the way we were playing tonight. I know it came down to one pitchand we were one pitch away from losing, but everybody was encouraging theirteammates.”
Trailing 5-3 in the ninth, White Sox closer Sergio Santos(notes) (2-3) retired thefirst two batters and had Josh Willingham(notes) in an 0-2 count before walking him.Hideki Matsui(notes) followed with an RBI single to cut the White Sox lead to a run.Santos then walked Daric Barton(notes) and hit Kurt Suzuki(notes) with a breaking ball to loadthe bases. Sizemore then split the left-center gap to give the Athletics a 7-5lead.
“Santos throws hard, so if you’re not ready for the fastball he’ll blow youaway,” said Sizemore, who was playing in just his third game with the A’s sincebeing acquired from Detroit on May 27.
“It was a great feeling to help the team get a win,” Sizemore added.“Just felt really good to contribute.”
Santos allowed three runs in Wednesday’s loss to the Mariners.
“This one hurt, I will be honest with you,” said White Sox manager OzzieGuillen. “(Santos) just lost it. He tried to be too aggressive.”
Santos has allowed runs in just three of his 25 appearances this year, buthas been tagged for three or more runs in all three instances.
“It’s baseball, I wish I could get the job done every time but that’s notpossible so I have to be ready for tomorrow, whenever they call on me, whateverthe situation is I will be ready to go out there and do my job,” he said.
Grant Balfour(notes) (4-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the victory and AndrewBailey(notes) pitched a perfect ninth for his first save of the season.
Paul Konerko(notes) hit a two-run homer and A.J. Pierzynski(notes) had three hits for theWhite Sox, who failed to gain ground in the AL Central despite Cleveland andDetroit both losing.
The A’s had had 13 hits in avoiding losing 11 straight for the first timesince a 12-game slide April 19-30, 1994. Oakland came into the game batting .219(75 for 343) during the 10-game losing streak.
Cliff Pennington(notes) and Sizemore led the A’s with three hits.
White Sox starter Edwin Jackson(notes) pitched six innings and allowed two runs oneight hits.
Graham Godfrey(notes) made his major league debut with Brett Anderson(notes) sidelined byelbow soreness. Godfrey allowed five runs on nine hits over 4 1-3 innings.
“I thought he battled pretty well,” Melvin said. “Two-out walks will killyou. You saw him get out of sorts a little bit, then bring it back.”
Godfrey was 7-1 with a 2.50 ERA for Sacramento. The 26-year old right-handerstarted one game for Double-A Midland before being promoted to Sacramento.
“In the middle of my outing, I was attacking hitters and getting ahead.That’s what made me more successful,” Godfrey said. “I definitely got a lot ofpositives to work off of.”
Trailing 1-0 in the first inning, Carlos Quentin(notes) drew a two-out walk, thenKonerko followed with his 16th home run and second in as many days to putChicago ahead. It was Konerko’s ninth straight game with an extra-base hit,setting a franchise record.
The White Sox left the bases loaded after Godfrey struck out Gordon Beckham(notes).
Konerko is 20-42 with six doubles, six home runs and 14 RBIs during his11-game hitting streak, raising his average from .287 to .321. He has hit sixhome runs in his last nine games.
Jemile Weeks(notes) led off the third with a triple. Center fielder Alex Rios(notes) had abad read on the ball and initially turned in the wrong direction as the ballwent over his head. Weeks later scored on Pennington’s infield single to tie thescore at two.
The White Sox got the lead back for Jackson in the fifth. Alexei Ramirez(notes) ledoff with a double, then Quentin followed a slow bouncer to third basemanSizemore. Sizemore made an off-balanced throw to first which got away fromBarton. Ramirez ended up scoring on the throwing error.
Godfrey was chased after giving up a single to Pierzynski. Quentin hustledinto third on the hit to right and Pierzynski took second on the throw. Quentinended up scoring on Rios’ groundout and Adam Dunn(notes) drove in Pierzynski on asingle to give the White Sox a 5-2 lead.
With one out in the first, Pennington doubled down the left-field line. Oneout later, Pennington scored on Willingham’s single.
Coco Crisp(notes) scored on pinch-hitter Conor Jackson’s(notes) groundout in the seventh.
NOTES: Konerko previously shared the consecutive extra-base hit streak withAl Simmons, who set it in 1935. … Rios and Dunn drove in a run in the samegame this season for the third time this season. … Quentin extended hishitting streak to 12 games. … Pennington has four hits in eight at-bats in theNo. 2 hole since Melvin moved him there from hitting ninth, a move Melvin called“an easy decision.”
News Source: Yahoo Sports
Similar Newsgab Articles: