Rosales' homer in 10th gives A's a win

Brian Hedger, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- The Oakland A's don't have the most star-studded lineup, but they keep on finding ways to win games.
They did it again on Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field, beating the Chicago White Sox 5-4 in 10 innings after falling behind early and fighting their way back.
Adam Rosales, who's originally from Chicago, sent a pitch by White Sox reliever Matt Thornton over the fence in left field with two outs in the top of the 10th that stood up as the eventual winning run.
"That was big and he's pretty fired up about playing here at home too," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "When you've got some people in the stands, it's always nice to play at home and knowing you were able to do that on top of it ... good day for him. It put a smile on his face and his parents' as well."
Grant Balfour closed it out in the bottom half of the inning for his 14th save, even though it got a little dicey.
Balfour allowed the tying run to reach third, then watched the final out land in the mitt of Yoenis Cespedes about a foot short of being a two-run homer by Adam Dunn that would've won it for Chicago. Instead, the White Sox went right back to losing after Wednesday's marathon 16-inning victory in Seattle.
The White Sox (25-33) have lost nine of their last 10 games, and Dunn's long flyout only made the sting that much worse.
"That sums up a lot of stuff lately, but the guys battled," White Sox bench coach Mark Parent said after managing the game in place of Robin Ventura, who is attending family graduation ceremonies. "Even after the late arrival (in Chicago Thursday morning) and the long game they had a lot of energy and they were getting behind (White Sox starter Jose) Quintana because he was throwing strike, strike, strike. So, that's good."
Not nearly as good as things are going for Oakland (37-25), which has won two in a row, six of its last seven and 17 of its past 20 games.
"You never feel like you're ever down on this team, whether you are or not," A's starter Dan Straily said, after going seven innings, allowing four runs and leaving with the score knotted at 4. "There's never any quit and no one ever gives up. If you're in the dugout, you probably wouldn't know the difference if we were down 10 or up a couple (runs)."
Cespedes went 2-for-4 with two solo home runs, while Rosales also went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Alejandro De Aza led the White Sox by going 3-for-5 with an RBI, and Alexei Ramirez drove in two runs with a clutch two-out single in the third.
Jerry Blevins (5-0) picked up the win by working a scoreless inning of relief, and Thornton (0-2) took the loss.
After falling behind 3-0 in the third, the A's kept battling back. They eventually knotted it at 4 on Josh Reddick's home run in the seventh -- just one inning after Cespedes made it 4-3 with his second solo shot of the game in the sixth. It was just the second home run of the season for Reddick, who had a stint on the disabled list.
"I finally guessed right," he said. "I can credit myself that I guessed right and didn't miss it. I've been hitting the ball hard lately, just right at guys. I talked to (Brandon Moss) and he said 100 percent of the time you hit it in the stands they can't catch it, so I worked on that."
After the long game in Seattle on Wednesday, Quintana was almost required to go deep in this game for Chicago. He delivered by lasting 7 2/3 innings and throwing 107 pitches to give the Sox a chance -- even though he allowed four runs and three homers, including both to Cespedes.
"Quintana was very good," Parent said. "He gave us what we needed, but when you make mistakes, good hitters make adjustments."
Quintana was relieved by Matt Lindstrom with two outs in the eighth before Cespedes had a chance to hit a third long ball off him. Lindstrom got the Cuban-born A's outfielder to fly out.
Chicago then had a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth when the Sox got Conor Gillaspie to second with two outs, but Tyler Flowers struck out looking to end the inning.
After both starters cruised through the first two innings, the White Sox got to Straily in the third, scoring three times thanks to three two-out hits to make it 3-0 Chicago.
Oakland got one back in the top of the fourth on a solo home run to left-center by Cespedes and manufactured another run in the fifth to make it 3-2 White Sox. Chicago re-established the two-run lead, 4-2, in the bottom half of the inning but the home runs by Cespedes and Reddick erased the advantage in the next two frames.
Straily also escaped a much bigger Sox rally in the fifth when Dunn flied out to right with one out and the bases loaded. Flowers tagged up on the shallow fly and was thrown out at the plate by Reddick while trying to score.
"Just to get off the field in that situation, I really needed it," Straily said. "Reddick came up huge with the throw and (catcher Derek Norris) held onto the baseball. It was just another way I kept getting picked up by my teammates all night long."
NOTES: Ventura missed Thursday's series opener against the A's and will also miss the second game of the four-game series on Friday to be with his family in California for graduation ceremonies. Parent will also miss two games of this series, on Friday and Saturday, for the same reason. Pitching coach Don Cooper will manage the White Sox on Friday night, and Ventura will return on Saturday. ... The White Sox made four roster moves on Thursday, placing RHP Jake Peavy on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured rib, sending RHP Brian Omogrosso to Triple-A, calling up RHP Deunte Heath and purchasing the contract of RHP Ramon Troncoso from Triple-A Charlotte. ... The White Sox selected shortstop Tim Anderson of East Central Community College (Decatur, Miss.) with the 17th pick in the first round of Major League Baseball's Draft. Anderson's best asset is speed, and scouts like his ability to make contact and use it. ... The A's came into this four-game set with the White Sox 6-0-1 in their previous seven series. ... Oakland selected outfielder Billy McKinney of Plano West Sr. High School in Texas with the 24th pick of the first round of the draft. McKinney is rated as one of the draft's top high school hitters, with a smooth left-handed swing.