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Athletics 5, White Sox 3: Bullpen slowly breaks down

Defense contributes extra outs toward Oakland sweep

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox were trying to nurse a 2-0 lead through the end of this one in order to Donestave off an Oakland sweep.

One by one, though, various White Sox were unable to get the job done, starting with:

Derek Holland: He faced Yonder Alonso and only Yonder Alonso to start the seventh, given that he was at 105 pitches. Alonso ended up rifling a single to right to end Holland’s day, but since he had thrown six scoreless innings beforehand, this is excusable.

Jake Petricka: Brought in to get a ground ball, he induced a chopper back to the mound from Bruce Maxwell. It should’ve been a routine 1-6-3 double play, but Petricka fumbled the exchange and could only get the out at first.

Dan Jennings: Walked lefty Matt Olson, then, after a 4-6 fielder’s choice for the second out, he gave up a double down the right field line to Jed Lowrie, forcing Rick Renteria to bring in...

Tommy Kahnle: ... the White Sox’ fourth pitcher of the inning. Kahnle froze Rajai Davis to end the inning, but he proved hittable in the eighth, giving up a leadoff single to Franklin Barreto. Then ...

Matt Davidson: ... got caught in between on a well-struck grounder. It could’ve been a double-play ball, but instead both runners were safe, and Barreto came around to score the tying run on a single by Khris Davis.

David Robertson: Then came in to relieve Kahnle, and he induced a routine-looking fly to left from Alonso, but Melky Cabrera had shaded toward the gap and couldn’t make up the ground, so Davis scored to give the A’s a 3-2 lead. Then he gave up a solo shot to Adam Rosales in the ninth, and ...

Chris Beck: ... replaced him and immediately yielded one to Matt Joyce to give Oakland a 5-2 lead. Beck couldn’t finish the game, either, as Khris Davis’ line drive struck him in the hamstring. Gregory Infante, the Sox’ fifth reliever over the final three innings, had to close it out.

Cabrera got a run back with a solo rocket off Santiago Casilla to start the ninth, and Todd Frazier’s two-out single brought Davidson to the plate as the tying run, but he popped out to end the game.

The White Sox could’ve used more offense, but Sonny Gray kept the Sox in check through seven innings. He gave up Adam Engel’s first career homer in the third, and Josh Phegley’s passed-ball tendencies allowed Jose Abreu to score after he reached on a one-out double.

(Another Phegley failure almost gave the Sox a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but he was able to recover quickly enough to fire the ball to Gray, who tagged out Alen Hanson’s face.)

Otherwise, Gray limited the Sox to just two other hits and a walk over seven innings. Not only did he strike out seven, but he induced 11 groundouts, making the Sox bats look especially feeble.

Holland had to work a little harder, but he kept pace for the Sox in what was a fine rebound performance. He limited the A’s to three hits and two walks over the first six innings.

Record: 32-42 | Box score | Highlights