This one got off to a rough start, as the Athletics bats came alive early, and Oakland never looked back in a 5-1 rout.
Oakland got on the board in the first on three consecutive singles off Iván Nova, with designated hitter Khris Davis getting the single to drive in the first run of the game.
In the second inning, the Athletics added to their lead on back-to-back home runs by Ramon Laureano and Jurickson Profar. Both home runs left the bat at 107 mph and cleared the wall by plenty. The only question was whether or not Profar’s blast down the right field line would stay fair.
The A’s extended their lead to four in the sixth inning, courtesy of their third solo home run of the night. Right fielder Mark Canha took advantage of a cutter that caught way too much of the plate, and he launched a long one to center.
That would be the last run that Nova would allow. In the end, he avoided an awful game, but he allowed one run too many for this one to fall into the “quality start” category. His line: six innings, four runs (all earned), 10 hits, no walks, and four strikeouts. Nova continued his trend of not issuing walks but otherwise not being very effective.
Meanwhile, White Sox hitters could not claw their way back from the early deficit. They managed 10 hits on the night, but none of them went for extra bases. As Chris Kamka noted after the game, seven times this season has a team had 10 or more hits with none for extra bases; the White Sox have done so three of those times.
In addition, the South Siders only drew two walks, and they finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. As a result, the White Sox only pushed one run across. On the bright side, Yoán Moncada had three hits, as he continued his strong season.
Old friend Marcus Semien closed the scoring with an RBI triple to allow another old friend (Josh Phegley) to score. That seventh inning triple made it 5-0. The score would remain that way until another old friend (Joakim Soria) allowed an RBI single to Leury García with two outs in the ninth. García finished 2-for-5, as he was the only White Sox hitter besides Moncada to have a multi-hit performance.
In his White Sox debut and first major league game of the season, A.J. Reed went 1-for-4 as tonight’s designated hitter. In addition to his ninth inning single, he flew out on a 106 mph fly ball to center field that he just missed. Reed’s other two plate appearances also ended in flyouts, though those were not nearly as sharply hit.
The White Sox fell to 42-45, and the A’s improved to 51-41. The White Sox will try to even the series tomorrow, and that game will start at 3:07 CST. Tomorrow’s matchup will be televised on NBC Chicago and FS1, while WGN 720 will have the radio coverage. Dylan Covey is the probable starter for the White Sox, and Oakland plans to send Chris Bassitt (yep, old friend) to the mound.