With Mike Pelfrey on the mound against an Oakland Athletics team that was 9-25 on the road, this season seemed to be the right combination for the White Sox to start a successful 10-game homestand. Instead, home runs by Khris Davis and Matt Joyce provided the only offense as the A's blanked the Sox, 3-0.
Oakland got the quick jump in the first inning. After a two-out walk to Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis obliterated a first-pitch fastball to center field for his 19th homer of 2017.
Down 2-0, Pelfrey was able to keep the A's at bay despite walking five over 4.2 innings. While he was able to minimize the damage allowing many baserunners, Matt Joyce lead-off the fifth with his ninth homer of the season, putting Oakland ahead by three. Manager Rick Renteria allowed Pelfrey to try and complete five innings to save as much work as possible for a tired bullpen. After recording two outs, Pelfrey walked Davis and his night was over throwing 106 pitches with 60 of them for a strike.
The overworked White Sox bullpen was quite impressive again. A quartet of Chris Beck, Dan Jennings, Anthony Swarzak, and David Holmberg only allowed one hit over 4.1 innings striking out four and walking just one. That performance was enough to keep the Sox offense within striking distance, but they had issues of their own dealing with Jharel Cotton.
If it wasn't for a cut on his pitching hand, Cotton had a good chance of throwing a Maddux tonight against the South Siders. Keeping hitters off balance with his looping curveball, two-seam fastball and changeup, Sox hitters could only muster three hits against the 25-year old. Cotton left only throwing 66 pitches with 42 of them for a strike.
The Sox got a little offense going in the seventh after Avisail Garcia hit a leadoff single, but he was erased on Todd Frazier's 5-4-3 double play. Matt Davidson tried to spark a two-out rally with a single of his own however he was stranded at first as Alen Hanson flew out to left field.
Speaking of Hanson, he originally wasn't in tonight's lineup but saw action as both Tim Anderson and Rick Renteria were thrown out of the game. In the bottom of the fifth, Anderson hit a chopper that barely got into fair territory in front of home plate. Credit catcher Bruce Maxwell to make a nice play fielding it immediately and tagging Anderson out. A brief argument with home plate umpire Jim Wolf and Anderson was sent to the showers on his 24th birthday. Shortly after receiving the heave-ho, Renteria came out to argue the play and eventually was also tossed out.
It wasn't until the ninth inning when the White Sox offense finally saw some real life. Against A's closer, Santiago Casilla, Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu hit back-to-back singles to lead off the final frame. As the potential tying runs, Avisail Garcia flew out to right field and Todd Frazier hit a duck snort down the right field line. That flare was tough for A's first baseman Yonder Alonso to handle as he dropped it. However, not wanting to be doubled up in case Alonso caught it, Abreu was stuck in no man's land and was thrown out at second base.
With runners on the corners and two outs, Matt Davidson gave fans hope for three seconds. The Sox home run leader smoked a fastball 393 feet, but unfortunately to the deepest part of the park in center field, and it fell 10 feet short of tying the game.