by Jerry Feitelberg
photo courtesy of Google images
front page photo AP: The Chicago White Sox Jose Abreu hit a sixth inning home run off Oakland A’s starter Kendall Graveman is congratulated by teammates Todd Fraiser (21) and Melky Cabrera (53)
OAKLAND–The Chicago White Sox beat the A’s 6-1 Thursday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum. A’s starter, Kendall Graveman, and Chisox starter, Mat Latos, engaged in an old-fashioned pitching duel for the first five innings of the game. Graveman gave up just two hits in the first five innings. Graveman faced three batters in the sixth. He walked Melky Cabrera and then gave up a home run to Jose Abreu. Graveman retired Todd Frazier, but the damage had been done. The White Sox would score four in the ninth, but all they needed was two to win the game. The A’s bullpen pitched well until the ninth. Bob Melvin brought in Liam Hendricks for the ninth, but he was no match for the Sox today. After the game, Melvin said he did not want to use Axford, Madson, or Doolittle. Chicago’s Mat Latos was superb. He pitched six innings and allowed just two hits as he picked up his first win of the year.
In the top of the sixth, the White Sox scored the first two runs of the game. Chicago DH, Melky Cabrera led off with a single. The next batter, Jose Abreu, sent a Kendall Graveman pitch over the out-of-town scoreboard in right field for his first home run of the year. A’s manager Bob Melvin let Graveman pitch to one more hitter before replacing him with Fernando Rodriguez.
The A’s bullpen kept the Chisox in check until the ninth inning. A’s reliever Liam Hendricks did not have a good outing as the Sox sent nine men to the plate. They scored four times on six singles. All the runs were earned, and they hold a commanding 6-0 lead as the A’s come to bat in the bottom of the ninth.
The A’s scored a run in the ninth as they avoided being shut out. White Sox win 6-1 and take the series three games to one.
Game Notes- The A’s used five pitchers in the loss to Chicago. Relievers Fernando Rodriguez, Marc Rzepczynski and Ryan Dull, pitched well and kept the A’s in the game until the ninth inning.
The A’s finished the opening homestand 1-3. The last time they started a season 1-3 was 2012. A’s utility man, Chris Coghlan started the game at second base and had two hits and a run batted in. The A’s defense was a bit wobbly as they made two errors. However, neither of the errors caused them any damage.
The A’s travel to Seattle to face the Mariners. Lefty Eric Surkamp will go for Oakland, and he will be opposed by right Taijuan Walker. Pitching matchups for Saturday will be Rich Hill for Oakland and Nathan Karns for Seattle. On Sunday, Chris Bassitt will make his second start of the year, and King Felix Hernandez will be hurling fo the Mariners. The A’s return home after the Seattle series to face another division rival, the Los Angeles Angels.
There were 12,577 fans watching the game Thursday afternoon, and the game lasted three hours and six minutes.