CHICAGO -- Josh Donaldson
made his first career hit against Chicago White Sox
ace Chris Sale a big one for the Oakland A's on the Friday night.
Donaldson launched the first grand slam of his career off Sale in the sixth inning of the A's 4-3 win at U.S. Cellular Field, just one batter after the Chicago left-hander had walked Yoenis Cespedes on four pitches to load the bases with one out.
The blast, which sailed over the fence in right field for Donaldson's ninth home run, put Oakland up with one swing of the bat after Chicago had scratched out runs in each of the previous three innings to give Sale a 3-0 lead.
Until the sixth, Sale was sailing right along. He only allowed two hits through the first five frames and appeared to be locked in the way he'd been at home in his previous 15 starts. Sale (5-4), who took the loss, was 11-1 in those outings with a 1.82 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 108 2/3 innings.
Sale also has been dominant of late against teams from the American League West, but Oakland (38-25) is the hottest team in baseball having won three in a row, seven of the past 10 games and 18 of the last 21 contests. Jarrod Parker
(5-6) started for the A's and picked up his second win against the Sox in as many starts. He also outdueled Sale in Oakland on June 2 in a 2-0 A's victory.
Parker pitched into the eighth inning, allowed five hits and all three of Chicago's runs, two of which were earned. Following Donaldson's slam, Parker only allowed three base runners on two walks and a single.
The White Sox (25-34) had a chance to tie or take the lead in that eighth inning, after Alejandro De Aza
walked following Tyler Flowers' single. Ryan Cook relieved Parker and got Alexei Ramirez to pop up his sacrifice bunt attempt to Donaldson down the third-base line for the first out. Alex Rios then popped out to first baseman Nate Freiman before Adam Dunn's towering fly to center ended the threat.
Conor Gillaspie also was robbed of a game-tying home run to right field in the ninth when Josh Reddick snagged the ball just above the yellow line atop the fence.
Flowers' third-inning home run put the White Sox on the board first. Chicago manufactured a run in the fourth to take a 2-0 lead when Rios singled, stole second, advanced to third on catcher Derek Norris' throwing error and scored when Dayan Viciedo lifted a sacrifice fly to center.
Chicago tacked on another run in the fifth to make it 3-0. Two singles put runners on the corners and Alejandro De Aza drove in Gordon Beckham from third with another sacrifice fly to center.
It was Sale's first start at home since May 12, when he threw a one-hit, complete-game shutout against the Los Angeles Angels.
NOTES: Pitching coach Don Cooper managed the White Sox in the second day of manager Robin Ventura's two-game absence for family graduation ceremonies. Bench coach Mark Parent, who managed the series opener on Thursday night, is now gone for two games for the same reason. ... Cooper said that LHP Hector Santiago would get most of the starts in Jake Peavy's spot in the starting rotation. Peavy is out for up to six weeks with a fractured rib. ... Chicago took a pitcher in seven of its first 10 picks in the First-Year Player Draft and five of its first 10 selections are under 20 years old. ... The A's are now 15 games into a stretch of 17 games in 17 days, which ties their longest stint of the season without an off day. They came into Friday night's game with a 12-2 record in the first 14 games. ... Prior to Friday's game, A's closer Grant Balfour -- who's 14-for-14 in save opportunities -- hadn't blown a save since April 29, 2012, against the Baltimore Orioles. ... Eight of Oakland's first 12 picks in the 2013 draft have been pitchers, but three of the first four were position players.
- Sports & Recreation
- Chicago White Sox
- Jarrod Parker
- Josh Donaldson