White Sox-Athletics Preview

The Associated Press

Inclement weather earlier this week allowed Chris Sale to keep his shutout streak intact.

However, the left-hander's focus must be on trying to help the Chicago White Sox avoid a season-high sixth straight loss.

Trying to prevent his team from being swept in Oakland for the first time since 2007, Sale also looks to keep the surging Oakland Athletics from an eighth consecutive home victory Sunday.

Sale (5-2, 2.53 ERA) did not allow a run in 23 straight innings over three starts until he gave up a two-run homer in the second inning against the Cubs on Tuesday. He threw 37 pitches in three innings before the rains came and ultimately postponed the contest.

The team decided to keep Sale on regular rest after his previous start was skipped due to mild tendinitis.

"To give him an extra day is continuing with taking care of him and making sure he feels good when he goes out there," manager Robin Ventura told the White Sox's official website.

Sale has four straight wins and is 4-1 with a 1.40 ERA in six starts since he allowed eight runs in 4 1-3 innings of a 9-4 loss at Cleveland on April 13.

He went 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA, 16 strikeouts and no walks in two starts against the A's (33-24) last season.

Chicago (24-29), which has been outscored 31-9 during its five-game skid, rallied from a two-run deficit Saturday only to lose 4-3 on Josh Reddick's bases-loaded walk in the 10th.

"There was progress, if there's a silver lining to it, but then again we're here to win games,'' Ventura said of the White Sox, who have not dropped six straight since a seven-game slide Sept. 11-17, 2011.

Oakland, meanwhile, has won 13 of 15 overall and in the midst of its longest home winning stretch since a 10-game run Aug. 11-Sept. 1, 2006.

Jed Lowrie had four of Oakland's 16 hits, and Reddick added two in his second game since missing more than three weeks with a wrist injury. The A's stranded 18 runners and failed to score with the bases loaded and nobody out in the ninth, but still prevailed Saturday.

"You keep putting guys on base and somebody's going to score at some point,'' manager Bob Melvin said.

Lowrie is batting .400 (14 for 35) in his last nine games, and 2 for 4 versus Sale.

Reddick was hitting .152 at the time of his injury, but is 3 for 8 with two RBIs in the series.

Scheduled Oakland starter Jarrod Parker (3-6, 5.40) is 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA in his last four starts. The right-hander has lasted seven innings in three straight starts, and yielded two runs in seven innings of a 6-3 win over San Francisco.

"His stuff's always been there. It's a matter of going out there and doing it,'' Melvin said.

Parker allowed one run in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-4, 14-inning home win over Chicago last season.

Chicago's Paul Konerko will miss this game with a stiff neck.

With two RBIs on Saturday, White Sox leadoff hitter Alejandro De Aza has drove in half of his team's 12 runs over the last six contests.

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