Athletics 9, White Sox 7
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Mark Kotsay made one huge throw home to save a run, then made it known back in the dugout he was upset with Oakland’s shoddy defense.
Chicago’s defense was worse.
The Athletics blew a lead, then received a gift from their former outfielder, who helped cost the White Sox their ninth straight victory.
Jermaine Dye dropped a routine flyball by Marco Scutaro in right field for a two-base error in the eighth, then pinch-hitter Erubiel Durazo singled home Scutaro for the go-ahead run two batters later, lifting the A’s to a crazy 9-7 victory Tuesday night that ended Chicago’s eight-game winning streak.
“I said, ‘Hey, let’s get it going. We’ve got to grind it out and get back in this thing,”’ Kotsay said of his pep talk after Chicago came back in the sixth. “Some of those things are left in the dugout. We caught some breaks tonight. (Dye) makes that catch every time.”
The A’s rallied with a three-run seventh to tie it, with Damaso Marte (2-1) balking in the tying run after Oakland got three straight hits to start the inning and chase starter Mark Buehrle. Eric Chavez added a run-scoring double and Bobby Kielty had an RBI groundout in the inning.
The White Sox missed a chance at their first nine-game winning streak since July 1-9, 1977.
The A’s ended a three-game losing streak by finally snapping their embarrassing scoreless streak at 26 innings when Kotsay lined a double to center in the fifth to score Keith Ginter. It was their longest offensive drought since going 30 innings without a run from July 29-Aug. 1, 1997.
Tadahito Iguchi had three hits, including a key two-run single, and Aaron Rowand added three hits and scored twice as the White Sox got hits from their top eight batters. And No. 9 hitter Pablo Ozuna reached base twice, on a walk and when hit by a pitch.
“I don’t think many people are going to put their heads down,” Rowand said. “It was just an all-out weird game. I’ve never seen anything quite like that, so it’s not like we went out and played well and lost a heartbreaker.”
Chavez ended an 0-for-11 slump with a two-run single in the fifth for the A’s, who batted .149 (13-for-87) during their scoreless stretch. Kielty, the designated hitter, had two hits and two RBIs in his fifth straight start.
After Oakland took a 4-3 lead on five hits in the fifth, the White Sox immediately tied it. Rowand singled to start the sixth, then A’s left fielder Eric Byrnes mishandled a routine catch for an error on a hard-hit ball by Juan Uribe that allowed Rowand to score. Byrnes apparently lost the ball in the lights.
A walk by Ozuna two batters later chased A’s starter Rich Harden, tagged for five earned runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings. Ricardo Rincon allowed a go-ahead RBI single to Scott Podsednik and Keiichi Yabu relieved.
Kotsay threw out Iguchi at the plate later in the inning after a line drive to the A’s center fielder by Paul Konerko.
Carl Everett stared down Harden after the right-hander plunked the slugger in the right buttocks in the fifth inning. Everett pointed at the pitcher as he slowly walked to first. Harden then threw two wild pitches that allowed Everett to advance to third.
“It was just one of those nights,” Harden said. “Things weren’t going well and I didn’t have my command. … It’s kind of a relief around here. Hopefully it’s something we can carry over into our next games and get some momentum.”
Buehrle got the A’s to hit into double plays in each of the first three innings, including to end the first and second.
The lefty, who has the most quality starts in the American League since the start of the 2001 season, has lasted at least six innings in 33 straight starts, the longest streak in the majors since Curt Schilling went 39 in a row from 2001-03.
“It’s just an embarrassing game all around,” said Buehrle, who allowed seven runs and 11 hits, struck out two and walked three. “I should’ve gone out there and stopped them and we should have won this game.”
The White Sox loaded the bases on three straight singles with one out in the first and took a 1-0 lead on Konerko’s RBI single, but Harden got Dye, who spent parts of four seasons with Oakland, to hit into a double play to escape further damage.
After repeatedly studying the replay of his error, Dye left out a back exit of the visiting clubhouse without talking to reporters.
3B Joe Crede was a late scratch from the White Sox lineup because of a sore left foot, but he came in to pinch-hit in the seventh and remained in the game as a defensive replacement. Ozuna replaced him in the starting lineup. … The White Sox are on pace to set franchise records in April for wins (17) and winning percentage (.769).