James Shields put his name in the record books twice on Mark Buehrle Day.
Making his second start since returning from injury, Shields became the 81st pitcher in major-league history to record 2,000 career strikeouts. He then became the first pitcher in major-league history to allow three players to hit their first career home run in a single game.
Matt Olson, Jaycob Brugman and Franklin Barreto each tagged the White Sox pitcher for their first career blast, as the Athletics jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
"I wasn’t hitting my location with my fastball," Shields said. "Fastball command wasn’t very good today."
The A's held on to a sizable lead all game, notching a 10-2 victory in front of 38,618 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Shields' day was done after three innings. He allowed seven hits, six earned runs, three walks and struck out five.
"Today I didn’t do my job," Shields said. "I didn’t go out there and go deep in the game. I was behind in the count. Lot of walks. We need to clean that up. We need to make Ricky’s life a little easier on making decisions on keeping us in the ballgame."
Despite getting knocked around, Shields still had the time to take in his 2,000th strikeout.
Only five players have whiffed their 2,000th batter in a White Sox uniform - the last one being Javier Vazquez in 2008. Shields fanned Khris Davis in the second inning to reach the milestone. And although he's never been known as a dominant swing-and-miss pitcher, the accomplishment speaks to his longevity and ability to go deep into ballgames.
"I’ve never considered myself a strikeout pitcher in my career," he said. "I’ve logged a lot of innings but to be able to get that accomplishment is pretty special. Not too many guys have done that."
With the bats, the White Sox didn't give Shields or the bullpen nearly enough runs to stay in the game. The offense picked up one unearned run in both the third and fourth inning, thanks to two infielding errors. Melky Cabrera singled home Yolmer Sanchez, who reached on a Barreto miscue. The following inning, Tim Anderson roped a sac fly to center, plating Todd Frazier.
In the seventh inning, Frazier picked up his first ejection in 855 MLB games for arguing after umpires called and reviewed that Jose Abreu had slid off the bag while stretching for the third baseman's errant throw. For the second time in as many games, Rick Renteria followed suit, getting the boot for slamming his hat while vehemently disagreeing in the middle of the infield.
"I thought it was quick," Frazier said of the ejection. "I said some things that were borderline I guess."
Olson homered immediately after the ejections - this time off Jake Petricka - to extend the A's lead to eight runs.
Alen Hanson, who improved his batting average to .333 in a White Sox uniform, was the only player with multiple hits in the Sox order. He went 2-for-4 with two singles. Frazier recorded the team's lone extra-base hit when he delivered a double in the fourth.
But Saturday exemplified the same rotation problems the White Sox have had for the last month. It marked the 25th time in 31 games that a South Side starter has failed to make a quality start.
"We’re taxing the bullpen right now and the starters need to do a better job of going deeper in the game," Shields said. "I definitely didn’t do my job today, going deep into the game, and that’s something I’ve always prided myself on. At the end of the day we need to pick those guys up."