BY PAUL GACKLE
OAKLAND — Jose Abreu smacked an eighth inning three-run home run off the facing of the second deck in left field at O.co Coliseum, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 4-2 come-from-behind victory over the Oakland A’s on Wednesday.
With his 15th home run of the season, which leads all of baseball, Abreu helped the White Sox snap the A’s season-high six-game winning streak.
“He’s something special,” A’s starting pitcher Tommy Milone said, referring to Abreu. “Any kind of mistake that you throw to him, it seems like he’s going to hit a home run.”
With the homer, Abreu joined Wally Berger, Kevin Maas and Wally Joyner as the only players in the history of Major League Baseball to hit 15 home runs in their first 42 career games.
The A’s carried a 2-1 lead into the eighth after another stellar outing from Milone, the fifth starter in the A’s rotation. Milone surrendered only one run — a home run to second baseman Gordon Beckham on the first pitch of the game — over six innings of work, following up his eight innings of shutout baseball against the Washington Nationals on May 9.
Eight days ago, the fourth and fifth starters in the A’s rotation — Milone and Dan Straily — had a combined record of 1-5 with a 5.40 ERA. In the last week, the back-end of the rotation — with Drew Pomeranz pitching in place of Straily — is 3-0 with a 0.38 ERA.
“Drew’s really given us a spark and Tommy, the last few times out, has been as good as we’ve seen him over the last couple of years,” Manager Bob Melvin said.
John Jaso responded to Beckham’s long ball with a leadoff home run of his own in the bottom of the first inning, tying the score at 1-1. The A’s added to the lead in the fourth when Josh Donaldson hit his team-leading ninth home run of the season, the third solo shot of the day.
But the bullpen coughed up the lead in the eighth after Beckham and Conor Gillaspie picked up singles off lefty reliever Fernando Abad (0-1) and Abreu took Luke Gregerson deep with a rocket shot to left.
Gregerson leads baseball with five blown saves this season.
“He made a pitch to the middle of the plate to a real-good hitter who’s been hot,” Melvin said, adding: “His stuff’s still good.”
Four White Sox pitchers — Andre Rienzo, Scott Downs, Ronald Belisario and Matt Lindstrom — combined to hold the A’s to just three hits in the contest.
Melvin said he expects outfielder Coco Crisp, who’s missed the last seven games with a strained neck, to return to the lineup at some point during the A’s series with the Cleveland Indians, which kicks off on Friday.