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A's 7, White Sox 5: Santos has it, loses it

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Sergio Santos had, nobody on, a two-run lead, and an 0-2 count on Josh Willingham.

And the A's won 7-5. He just flat-out lost batter after batter, slowly losing any semblance of control, and it was fan-murdering to watch in real time.

He threw four straight out of the zone to Willingham to keep Oakland's hopes alive. Then he got ahead of Hideki Matsui 1-2 before throwing a slider that split the plate. Matsui singled Willingham home to narrow the gap to 5-4.

A five-pitch walk to Daric Barton followed, and he loaded the bases by hitting Kurt Suzuki on the elbow with a 2-2 changeup.

Scott Sizemore was looking fastball, because that's the only thing Santos could throw over the plate, and he ripped it to left center for a bases-clearing double. Santos would walk another batter before departing, and he took the blown save and the loss as Andrew Bailey retired the top of the White Sox order 1-2-3 to close it out. In the process, he also closed the book on Oakland's 10-game losing streak.

It was an ugly end to game that wasn't particularly pretty in all respects, on both sides.

The Sox should have hit Graham Godfrey harder, because he only had a fastball in the first two innings. Paul Konerko knew what to do with him, as he jumped on one for a two-run shot in the first inning to get Edwin Jackson a lead after he allowed a first-inning run.

But there were some bad hacks, too. The hitch in Gordon Beckham's swing returned, Alexei Ramirez popped up with a runner on third and two outs, and they let Godfrey off the hook until he could discover his breaking ball.

It wasn't much cleaner on defense. Alex Rios got turned around on what turned out to be a Jemile Weeks triple, and he came around to score on an infield single by Cliff Pennington, thanks to Jackson being unable to field his position.

Jackson's slow reaction time almost cost him in the third, as they loaded the bases on a pair of infield singles with two outs. Coco Crisp followed by smoking a ball to center, but it was right at Rios.

But it appeared that the Sox would get enough of a margin thanks to some sloppy play on Oakland's side. Alexei Ramirez led off with a double, and then scored on a Carlos Quentin nubber to third that Sizemore threw away. Quentin then went from first to third on A.J. Pierzynski's single, and Pierzynski moved up when Sizemore couldn't come up with the difficult hop at third.

That single chased Godfrey, but Michael Wuertz couldn't clean up his mess. Rios brought home one run with a grounder to short, and Adam Dunn followed by lining a single down the right-field line, giving the White Sox a 5-2 lead.

Chris Sale gave one back with a shaky effort, and Brian Bruney could only retire one of the two guys he faced, giving up a walk and a stolen base.

Matt Thornton provided the most competent moment of the night with his two-thirds of an inning. He needed just two pitches. Some might argue that he could have been left in to finish the ninth, but Santos retired the first two batters he faced with ease.

Then he just flat-out lost it.

Record: 31-35 | Box score | Play-by-play