A’s win the rubber game with the White Sox 7-4; Rajai steals four bases, Gray and Madson’s pitching holds Chicago

July 5, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics’ Rajai Davis, right, steals second base as Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson waits for the throw from home plate during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 5, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

by Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND- The Oakland A’s ended their six-game homestand with a win over the visiting Chicago White Sox by a score of 7-4. Sonny Gray, who pitched very well against Atlanta last week but lost the game, was very sharp Wednesday afternoon. Gray allowed the Sox just two hits and no runs in the first four innings of the game. He faltered a bit in the fifth when walked Todd Frazier to start the fifth.

Sox rookie Matt Davidson took Sonny deep, and the Sox were on the board with their first two runs of the game. Sonny settled down and pitched a scoreless sixth inning but his pitch count neared 100, and he was done for the day. Liam Hendriks pitched a solid seventh as he struck out the side and Ryan Madson retired the Chisox 1-2-3 in the eighth. Sean Doolittle was called upon to close out the game in the ninth. He struck out Melky Cabrera for out number one. Jose Abreu singled. Doolittle struck out Avasail Garcia for the second out. He had two strikes on Todd Frazier, but Frazier won the battle as he hit his 15th of the year to keep Chicago’s hopes alive. Doolittle reached back and struck out Matt Davidson to end the game and preserve the win for Oakland.

The A’s tallied the first run of the game in the bottom of the first. Matt Joyce, playing right field, led off with a double to heft-center.  Jed Lowrie beat out the hit as he singled to left. Joyce advanced to third base on the play. Khris Davis grounded into a 4-3 double play that allowed Joyce to score. Yonder Alonso struck out to end the inning.

The A’s plated two more runs in the bottom of the third. With one out, Jed Lowrie singled. Pelfrey retired Khris Davis on a fly to right. He then walked Yonder Alonso to put men on at first and second with two out. A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell doubled to left-center. Lowrie scored from second, and Alonso made it home all the way from first. Pelfrey struck out Franklin Barreto to end the inning.

The A’s scored three more runs on three hits in the fourth. Center fielder, Jaycob Brugman broke a 0-for-13 slump when he hit a big fly that landed over the 400-foot mark in center field for his second homer of the year.  Chisox managervRick Renteria had seen enough, and he removed Pelfrey from the game. The first hitter to face the new pitcher, Gregory Infante, was Rajai Davis. Davis singled to continue the rally. Davis then lit up the crowd as he stole second and third Matt Joyce walked to put runners on first and third with one out. Joyce running on a 2-2 pitch stole second. Jed Lowrie singled to drive in Davis and Joyce. It was Lowrie’s third hit of the game. Khris Davis hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. The A’s lead 6-0 after four complete.

The White Sox put two runs on the board in the top of the fifth. Sonny Gray, cruising along as e allowed no runs and two hits in the first four innings of the game, had a little hiccup in the fifth. He walked Sox’ third baseman, Todd Frazier, to start the frame. Rookie Matt Davidson hammered his eighteenth dinger of the year that went way over the wall in center field. Sonny brushed it off, and he was ablet to retire the next three hitters to end the inning.

The A’s didn’t score in the bottom of the sixth, but Rajai Davis electrified the crowd with two more stolen bases. With two out, Davis singled to right. For the second time in the game, he stole second and third. The last time he had four steals in a game was July 28th, 2013 against the Houston Astros.

The A’s scored another run in the eighth. Bruce Maxwell walked and advanced to third on a Brugman single. Maxwell scored on a wild pitch to give the A’s the lead 7-2. Sean Doolittle is in to pitch the ninth. The White Sox rallied to score two runs. With one out, Jose Abreu singled. Doolittle struck out Avasail Garcia for the second out, but Todd Frazier rocked him for a home run to deep left field to make it a 7-4 game. Doolittle struck out Matt Davidson looking to end the game.

Game notes- The A’s had their running game going Wednesday afternoon. In addition to Rajai Davis’ four steals, Franklin Barreto and Matt Joyce each had one for a total of six swipes in the game. The A’s offense was also solid. Jed Lowrie led the A’s attack with three hits and two RBIs. Rajai Davis contributed two hits and four steals. Jaycob Brugman also had two hits, one of which was his second homer of the season.  Catcher Bruce Maxwell had a RBI double in the third inning, and he said that it was great that he had to “deliver for the team.” He also said that he “felt more locked in.”

Sonny Gray evened his record at 4-4 while the Sox’ starter Mike Pelfrey dropped to 3-7. Pelfrey struggled right from the start as he went just 3 and third innings and allowed five hits and four runs. In his three-plus innings of work, Pelfrey threw an astounding ninety-nine pitches.  After the game, Sonny said that “it was nice to have a six-run lead early in the game.  After he had given up the two runs in the fifth, Gray remarked that he was “able to shut it down and hand it over to the guys in the bullpen.”The A’s used four pitchers and Chisox manager Rick Renteria got a lot of exercise as he used five pitchers in the loss to the A’s.

Josh Phegley was not on the roster as the A’s granted him time off for paternity leave. His spot on the roster was taken by Ryan Lavarnway. Ryon Healy missed his third consecutive game due to back spasms. Healy should be ready for the Seattle series. Shortstop Marcus Semien is on track to come off the DL and will join the A’s in Seattle.

The A’s are on their way to the Emerald City of Seattle in the Great Northwest for a four-game series starting Thursday night. Bob Melvin has selected rookie Pul Blackburn to pitch the opener. Seattle’s talented lefty, James Paxton will go for the Mariners. Jharel Cotton will pitch for Oakland on Friday, and the Mariners are sending Andrew Moore to the hill. Moore is 1-1 with an ERA of 3.00. Cotton is 5-8, and his ERA is 5.17.

Time of game Wednesday was three hours and twenty-four minutes. There were 13,813 people in the stands to watch the A’s prevail.

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About rxslugger

Retired pharmacist who now has a career as a sports writer and broadcaster

View all posts by rxslugger

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