Jimmy Rollins found a shortcut for becoming a Chicago fan favorite: Hit a go-ahead homer to prevent extra innings on the West Coast.
It was his first for the White Sox, and it was a big one -- a solo blast with deuces wild off Sean Doolittle in the ninth inning to put the Sox ahead 5-4 and bail out Nate Jones in the process. David Robertson pitched a clean inning, preserving his pace for a 162-save season.
In a way, Rollins made up for himself, too. The Sox had a chance to post a crooked number in the seventh inning. They had already scored one to extend their lead to 4-2, and Rollins was at the plate with the bases loaded. But he bounced into a 4-6-3 double play to keep it a two-run game, and the A's erased that deficit in the eighth inning off Jones.
Jones came into work a full inning this time, and it got away from him. With two outs and two on, he clipped Steven Vogt on the foot to load the bases, and Yonder Alonso smacked his first-pitch fastball into right for a two-run single.
Because baseball is a jerk, Jones ended up picking up the win that was earmarked for Jose Quintana. Quintana didn't pitch his best, but he limited the A's to just two runs on seven hits (no walks) over 5⅔ innings. Like Chris Sale before him, Quintana got beat on his fastballs during the two innings he gave up runs, including more damage by Jed Lowrie. Yet he still managed the game well enough to use the run support provided to him by Todd Frazier.
Frazier provided the kind of backup for Jose Abreu the team had in mind. In the fifth inning, the Sox had a chance to erase a 1-0 deficit with runners on first and second and one out. Abreu struck out after chasing Chris Bassitt breaking balls out of the zone for the second out, but Frazier served as ample reinforcement.
Bassitt followed the same gameplan by throwing back-to-back curves to Frazier. The first grabbed a strike on the inside corner to get ahead 0-2, but the second rolled over the plate. Even though it was low, Frazier was able to get down and golf it out to left field on a two-part swing to give the Sox a 3-1 lead.
Bassitt had held the Sox in check the first time through the order, setting up a potential field day for former Sox. Josh Phegley singled twice off Quintana and scored both of the runs on his tab, and Marcus Semien assisted with a pair of singles behind him. Instead, Frazier left Bassitt with a bad taste in his mouth, and Rollins sent the rest of the team home.
*Frazier crossed off "first White Sox hit" earlier in the game with a single, and Alex Avila joined him in that category.
*Matt Albers stepped up in his 2016 debut, closing out the sixth inning started by Quintana, then tacking on a scoreless seventh.
*Abreu singled twice and struck out thrice. Adam Eaton singled thrice and struck out twice.
*The White Sox are two games over .500 for the first time since
April 7, 2013 April 2, 2014.