Philip Humber, making his first start as the 6th starter, came through again for the White Sox. Humber was brilliant through six innings, as he only allowed 2 hits and a HBP (which was promptly erased by a double play). Meanwhile, the Sox had Brandon McCarthy begging for mercy after the 2nd inning.
Paul Konerko greeted McCarthy with a single to center. Carlos Quentin and A.J. Pierzynski followed with consecutive walks, loading the bases with nobody out. Alex Rios grounded into a force out, but beat the throw to first to stay out of the double play and notched the first RBI for the Sox. Omar Vizquel then ripped a double down the right field line, scoring Quentin. Gordon Beckham flew out to David Dejesus, bringing home Rios. After a Juan Pierre infield single, McCarthy threw a pickoff attempt down the right field line, scoring Vizquel and moving Pierre all the way around to third. Alexei Ramirez ended the inning with a fly out, leaving the Sox on top 4-0 after 1 1/2 innings.
Following 6 outstanding innings, Humber came back out for the 7th, and the Athletics bats finally started coming around. Ryan Sweeney led off the frame with a base hit to left. Hideki Matsui followed suit with a hit to center. Kurt Suzuki then loaded the bases with a pop fly that dropped in front of a charging Rios. Humber then lost his shutout by uncorking a wild pitch, allowing Sweeney to score. DeJesus then singled sharply to right, scoring Matsui. Suzuki sat on third with nobody out and Mark Ellis coming to the plate. Ozzie Guillen called for Jesse Crain to preserve the lead for Humber. Crain immediately struck out Ellis. Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a fly to center, which brought in Suzuki, making the score 4-3. Crain then turned and fired to first, picking off DeJesus and exiting the inning with the lead still in tact.
The Sox went out in order in their half of the 8th, but Oakland made it interesting in the bottom half. Cliff Pennington led off with a grounder off of Crain for one out. Matt Thornton entered the game, and instantly put on Coco Crisp. Crisp stole 2nd base, setting the stage for Daric Barton to tie it up. Barton grounded out to Konerko, moving Crisp to third. With 2 gone and Conor Jackson being brought up to pinch hit, Crisp dashed towards home. Thornton fired home and a diving Pierzynski stopped Crisp from stealing the plate, ending the inning.
In the 9th, the Sox went down 1,2,3 as the A's retired 15 straight Sox hitters to close the game. In came Sergio Santos to replace Thornton. A ground out and two strikeouts later, and the Sox had their 5th win on the road trip!
*It was nice to see the Sox take advantage of McCarthy's wildness. It also was nice seeing a bullpen sorting itself out. Crain, Thornton and Santos preserved the slight lead to get Humber another victory. What a nice day out by the Bay.
* Tom Paciorek provided the color for the game today. It was a blast from the past, and he will be with us throughout the weekend.
*Good to see another team cost themselves a game on the bases, as DeJesus was picked off in the 7th and Crisp was caught stealing the plate in the 8th.
Record: 16-23| 9 GB| Box