Oakland, CA – Everything seemed to be going their way. Josh Reddick cleared the bases in the fourth with a three-run triple giving the A’s a comfortable lead. But the bullpen took over in the seventh and crumbled once again. The Chicago White Sox scored five runs and bested Oakland 7-6.
“I gotta somehow find the right answer in that inning,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin. “Obviously we’ve struggled with it. We had three guys in the inning we felt like could do the job, just couldn’t get it done.”
Geovany Soto reached base safely on a fielding error by third baseman Brett Lawrie in the seventh. Carlos Sanchez singled knocking starting pitcher Jesse Hahn out of the game. Fernando Rodriguez replaced Hahn and gave up a single to Melky Cabrera who drove in Soto. Jose Abreu was hit by pitch and that loaded the bases.
Fernando Abad replaced Rodriguez and surrendered a double to Adam LaRoche who drove in two more runs making it a 6-5 game. Evan Scribner replaced Abad who then yielded a two-run double to Avisail Garcia giving Chicago a 7-6 lead. Scribner struck out Conor Gillaspie to end the inning.
“That’s huge for us to be borderline dead five or six innings with nothing going on and then all of a sudden go out and score three or four runs,” LaRoche said. “We’ve kind of been doing that off and on all year. We’ll take it.”
Reddick’s three-run triple in the fourth gave Oakland the lead after Hahn got off to a rocky start. White Sox’s pitcher Carlos Rodon made a mistake by walking three batters to set up Reddick’s play. Josh Phegley went yard to leadoff the frame putting the A’s on the board with their first run.
Rodon walked three batters back-to-back to load the bases. He struck out Marcus Semien but Reddick’s hit made it a 3-2 game. Rodon fanned two more batters to start the fifth and was replaced by Scott Carroll. Mark Canha struck swinging but Eric Sogard drove in the next run with a single.
By the sixth, Reddick led off the inning with a double and Billy Butler scored him in with a RBI single making it a 6-2 game. Reddick went 2-for-4 with a triple, double, three RBI’s and a walk. Oakland has lost eight of their last nine games and are a season-high eleven games under .500.
“[Hahn] threw the ball so well, and to see the lead go away like that, that’s what’s been hurting us all year is a couple defensive errors, and it seems like teams just capitalize on that,” said Stephen Vogt. “They smell blood, and they just go for it.”
Hahn is 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA in four starts since missing his turn in the rotation on April 23. He surrendered a double to Adam Eaton to leadoff the first. Issued a free pass to Cabrera and gave up a single to Abreu to load the bases. Hahn walked in the next runner when he fanned LaRoche giving the White Sox a 1-0 lead.
The A’s made a great defensive play preventing the the next run, Lawrie leaped to catch a line drive at third by Garcia then threw to catcher Phegley for the out at home plate. Gillaspie knocked a single to center field scoring in Abreu. But Oakland’s defense shut down the next two batters to end the inning.
“Every day, it gets harder,” Vogt said. “We still have faith. We still believe we can do this, but it’s frustrating.”