One of these low-scoring games between the White Sox and Oakland Athletics finally went Chicago's way.
The Athletics look to bounce back and overcome some of their woes in day games when these teams complete their season series Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.
Every contest between these clubs has been decided by three runs or fewer, and Oakland (38-26) had won the first five before Chicago (26-34) used a late outburst for a 4-1 victory Saturday.
Oakland has outscored Chicago 19-14 in the first six meetings, and neither team has scored more than five runs in any matchup.
The Athletics have still won 18 of 22 as they try to improve upon a 11-13 record in day games that contrasts with their AL-best 27-13 night mark.
Oakland's starters lead the league with a 2.52 ERA since May 17 with six straight outings of at least seven innings - a streak that A.J. Griffin (5-4, 3.67 ERA) hopes to continue Sunday.
Griffin threw seven scoreless innings in Tuesday's 4-3 defeat at Milwaukee as the bullpen blew a three-run lead. The right-hander has never opposed the White Sox, and the only Chicago hitters he has faced are Jeff Keppinger (0 for 3) and former teammate Casper Wells (0 for 2).
While A's manager Bob Melvin probably isn't worried about his rotation, he may be concerned about Sean Doolittle . The reliever gave up three runs and retired one batter Saturday, and has allowed 10 runs over his last 3 2-3 innings
"The ball Konerko hit was pretty much off his shoetops," the left-hander said. "So it's kind of, today they just beat me and I have to tip my hat to them."
Konerko ended an 11-game homerless drought while Adam Dunn also went deep to end a 10-game run against the A's without a homer.
Every White Sox starter in this series has pitched into the eighth inning ahead of Hector Santiago 's outing Sunday. Santiago (1-4, 3.35) went 1-2 with a 2.96 ERA in five starts between May 2-22 and is back in the rotation in place of Jake Peavy , who left Tuesday's 7-4 loss at Seattle with a fractured rib.
Santiago has made two relief appearances against the A's. No Oakland hitter owns more than two at-bats against him.
Chicago manager Robin Ventura returned Saturday after missing the first two games of the series for his daughter's graduation. He insists he will fulfill his three-year deal that runs through 2014."A situation like this, I'd be ashamed to walk away just because it's tough," he said. "I think that's part of being in it with these guys - that I'm here as much as they are as far as turning it around and being ready to go."
|May 07, 2013||Josh Reddick||15-Day DL||Sprained right wrist|
|May 07, 2013||Josh Reddick||15-Day DL||Sprained right wrist|
|May 06, 2013||Jarrod Parker||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained neck|
|May 01, 2013||Brett Anderson||15-Day DL||Sprained right ankle|
|May 01, 2013||Brett Anderson||15-Day DL||Right foot stress fracture|
|April 30, 2013||Chris Young||15-Day DL||Strained left quad|
|Chicago White Sox|
|June 05, 2013||Jake Peavy||15-Day DL||Fractured rib - out 4-6 weeks|
|June 04, 2013||Jake Peavy||Day-to-Day||Left game - Rib pain|
|May 30, 2013||Dewayne Wise||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|May 22, 2013||Chris Sale||Day-to-Day||Left shoulder tendinitis|
|May 02, 2013||Dewayne Wise||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|May 02, 2013||Jake Peavy||Day-to-Day||Back spasms|
CHICAGO (AP) -- There were times when the Chicago White Sox thought they were at their low point, only to sink to another level. Maybe now, they're climbing back.
Alex Rios and Tyler Flowers homered, Hector Santiago pitched into the seventh inning and the White Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 4-2 on Sunday to salvage a split of their four-game series.
Conor Gillaspie made several diving stops at third base and drove in a run, and the White Sox looked like a team that just might be waking up.
They've won two in a row behind strong starts from Santiago (2-4) and John Danks after dropping 10 of 11 to fall into last place in the AL Central. Their bats are showing some life as well, and maybe they're emerging from this as a tighter group.
"You think you hit rock bottom and there's more to go in some cases," Paul Konerko said. "Sometimes, that can kind of bring the team together. ... There have been some moments where it's been so bad that I think (for) guys, it just reinforces how to do it right and to pick up your teammates because sometimes that's all you've got. Really, this year that's all we've had is to treat teammates well and try to be a positive influence. It's not easy when everything's going bad. You just hope that at some point it goes as good as it's gone bad."
Konerko also realizes, "We're not out of the woods yet." But this was a good step for the White Sox.
Flowers tied it 1-all in the third after Coco Crisp homered in the top half. The White Sox grabbed a 3-1 lead in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Gillaspie and an RBI double by Gordon Beckham . Rios chased A.J. Griffin (5-5) with a solo homer in the eighth to make it 4-2.
Santiago was simply superb after Danks and Addison Reed combined on a four-hitter Saturday, and the Athletics lost for just the fifth time in 23 games.
"This team is not losing any confidence after losing two right here," Oakland's Josh Donaldson said. "Chicago is a real good team and they've got real good pitching and they've got some bats in that lineup that can hurt you."
In and out of the rotation after opening the season in the bullpen, Santiago got the call with Jake Peavy sidelined by a broken rib and delivered in a big way. The left-hander allowed two runs - one earned - and four hits while striking out six and walking three.
"When stuff like this happens, you take advantage of it and just run with it," Santiago said. "We're all hoping for Peavy to come back as soon as possible, but for now, I'll enjoy the role."
Santiago left to loud cheers with a two-run lead after walking Josh Reddick with one out in the seventh. Matt Lindstrom came on and gave up a bloop single to pinch-hitter John Jaso before Adam Rosales grounded into a force. Matt Thornton then threw wildly to first on a pickoff attempt, allowing Reddick to score and pull Oakland within one, before Crisp popped out.
Jesse Crain retired the side in the eighth, giving him 24 straight scoreless innings and 25 appearances in a row without allowing a run. Reed worked the ninth for his 19th save in 20 chances and his second in two days.
Griffin allowed seven hits and struck out five while walking one but got little support. The Athletics managed only five hits at the plate, although they might have had more if not for Gillaspie.
He dove to his right to rob Donaldson in the third and lunged to his left to take one away from Jed Lowrie in the fifth. Gillaspie did it again in the eighth, diving to his left to rob Yoenis Cespedes .
"This is one series," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "We've been pretty good. You always want to be your best and play your best and the expectations of scoring a bunch of runs every day, the reality is sometimes that's not going to happen."
NOTES: OF Chris Young was back in Oakland's lineup as the designated hitter after missing Saturday's game because of an illness. He went 0 for 2. ... The Athletics are finally off on Monday after playing 17 straight days. ... White Sox manager Robin Ventura had some praise for the Chicago Blackhawks, who beat the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night to advance to the NHL's Stanley Cup finals for the first time since winning it all in 2010. "You look at how you pick yourself up," he said. "Last night, late goal, a lot of different things can happen at that point. But they stayed with it. I think Coach Q (Joel Quenneville) has done a great job. I'm happy for him." ... Dylan Axelrod (3-4, 3.73 ERA) starts Monday for the White Sox against Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (5-7, 4.66).