White Sox 4, Athletics 2: Enough for a split

USA TODAY Sports

Hector Santiago's first start in place of Jake Peavy a success

The White Sox seem to be stuck on four runs a game, so it's getting difficult to distinguish one game from another. This four-pack was more satisfying than others, because they made the most of their only good scoring opportunity, and a pair of solo homers supplemented it.

Or maybe it's just because the White Sox came away with a winning streak for the first time since sweeping Miami May 24-26. Whichever the case, the Sox's professional-looking fourth inning gave Hector Santiago and the bullpen enough to win.

After Tyler Flowers' majestic solo homer tied the game in the third inning, the Sox stepped it up against Oakland starter A.J. Griffin. Adam Dunn hit a one-out double and moved to third on Paul Konerko's bloop single. Conor Gillaspie followed with a long fly to center, which was not only enough to get Dunn home, but it allowed Konerko to tag and reach second.

That bit of baserunning had big implications, because after Dayan Viciedo walked, Gordon Beckham shot a double to left. Konerko wouldn't have scored from first on it, but he had no problem scoring from second. That gave the Sox a 3-1 lead, and the pitching and defense made it hold up.

Santiago, making his first of numerous starts in place of Jake Peavy, overcame his usual early inefficiency to throw 6⅓ strong innings.

His start turned on a fortunate break in the second. Chris Young walked to start the inning, then got a good jump on Santiago when attempting to steal second. Tyler Flowers made a strong throw, but it was late. Still, Jim Reynolds called Young out, perhaps because Young's foot bounced when hitting the bag while Alexei Ramirez applied the tag.

Eagle eye or blown call, that put him on a much better course. After walking two batters over his first three outs, he didn't issue another one until his last batter. In between, the only damage he suffered came on a Coco Crisp solo shot in the third inning.

The bullpen added another run to his line, but it was unearned. Robin Ventura pulled a tiring Santiago when his 107th pitch resulted in a walk to Josh Reddick. In came Matt Lindstrom, who allowed a bloop single, but got a fielder's choice at second for the second out.

With runners on the corners and Crisp coming to the plate, Ventura called on Matt Thornton. Thornton did get Crisp to pop out, but not before a pickoff throw to first escaped Konerko's grasp, allowing Oakland's second run to cross the plate. Thornton was charged with the error, but the inconclusive replays suggested that Konerko could have caught it.

But the run didn't matter, because Jesse Crain and Addison Reed dominated their innings, and Alex Rios restored the lead with a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth, anyway. The Sox split a four-game series with a red-hot team, so the ledgers look even from here.

Bullet points:

*Gillaspie had the single best glove day of the year for any White Sox player. He converted three diving stops for outs -- his best on a Jed Lowrie bouncer -- and also made a nice charging play, too.

*Family Sunday drew 31,033 fans, which is the largest attendance number for games that aren't Opening Day or against the Cubs. 79-degree weather helped.

Record: 27-34 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights

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