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White Sox 5, A's 4: Rocky finish, but a series win

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Donkey Kong came up big, accounting for all four of the White Sox's RBI.
Donkey Kong came up big, accounting for all four of the White Sox's RBI.

Ozzie Guillen gave Sergio Santos a chance to redeem himself after a painful blown save on Friday night, and Santos nearly fumbled the chance.

Fortuantely, Brian O'Nora's coin-flip call came up on the winning side.

Entering with a 5-3 lead, Guillen brought in Santos in relief of Matt Thornton after Bob Melvin pinch-hit for lefty David DeJesus with Conor Jackson. Jackson had no problem seeing him, fighting off a good slider, taking another, and then ripping a single through the middle.

Santos struck out Daric Barton with a fine changeup, followed by a walk of Scott Sizemore and a flyout to right by Josh Willingham. Once again, Santos was at two outs with a two-run lead, and he struggled to close the door. Jemile Weeks shot a single back through the box to drive in one run, and then came longtime nemesis Coco Crisp.

Crisp hit a chopper down the third base line, but Brent Morel found himself in between. Instead of trying to charge it, he opted to wait back for the clean hop and take his chances on a strong throw. After a bang-bang play, O'Nora said the throw beat the bag. The replay seemed to show otherwise, but Santos had his third out, and the Sox took the series.

It was a shaky end to a series full of shaky play, and a key Oakland error made the difference.

Guillermo Moscoso made only one truly terrible pitch on the day, a hanging curve that Adam Dunn swatted over the Bullpen Sports Bar for a three-run homer. That gave the Sox a 3-1 lead, but Phil Humber would give up the lead on a hanging curve of his own. Scott Sizemore took a 1-2 pitch and roped it into the White Sox bullpen.

But Moscoso wore down in the seventh. Mark Teahen drew a tough walk, and after a pop-up by Juan Pierre (after two bad bunt attempts), he walked Alexei Ramirez on four pitches. Melvin yanked Moscoso in favor of the always-tough Grant Balfour.

Balfour got Carlos Quentin to hit a soft bouncer to third. With Ramirez running, Sizemore probably should have gone to first for the sure second out. Instead, he tried starting a 5-4-3 double play, and he threw the ball into right field. Teahen came around to score, Ramirez took third, and he came home on a Paul Konerko single to give the Sox a 5-3 lead.

Otherwise, the two pitchers were evenly matched. Humber had problems throwing strikes early, getting into bad counts and allowing Crisp to reach on a single, and then steal on 2-0 after a pitchout. He scored on a sac fly. Crisp proved to be a thorn in his side later, as he led off with a double and completed the last 180 feet on a pair of productive outs.

Besides Crisp, Humber threw a strong seven innings. Moscoso didn't allow much either, outside of the Dunn homer. The Sox threatened once in the third, putting runners on the corners with one out, but Ramirez grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Record: 33-35 | Box score | Play-by-play