Athletics

A's winning streak comes to an end after splitting doubleheader

A's winning streak comes to an end after splitting doubleheader

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO -- Lucas Giolito pitched into the eighth inning before Xavier Cedeno worked out of a jam, and the Chicago White Sox snapped an eight-game losing streak by beating the Oakland Athletics 6-4 Friday night to salvage a doubleheader split.

The White Sox bounced back after getting pounded 11-2 behind a pair of three-run homers by Franklin Barreto. They stopped their worst skid since a nine-game rut last July and ended Oakland's season-high win streak at five.

Chicago was sailing along with a 5-2 lead when Giolito gave up back-to-back singles to Dustin Fowler and Marcus Semiento start the eighth. Jace Fry came in and walked pinch-hitter Stephen Piscotty to load the bases before Chris Volstad gave up a two-run single to Khris Davis, cutting it to 5-4.

Cedeno then got Matt Olson to line to the shortstop and struck out Mark Canha before Chad Pinder grounded into a force.

Tim Anderson led off the bottom half with his 12th homer to make it a two-run game. Omar Narvaez chipped in with three hits and two RBIs for Chicago.

Joakim Soria retired all three batters in the ninth for his 11th save in 13 opportunities.

Giolito (5-7) allowed four runs and seven hits in a rare home win. The 23-year-old right-hander struck out eight and walked two after going 1-4 with an 11.05 ERA in his first seven starts at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Olson went deep for Oakland, giving the Athletics home runs in 23 consecutive road games - one shy of the modern day record set by Baltimore in 1996. But Chris Bassitt (0-3) got tagged for five runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Barreto's big performance in the opener came after he hit a three-run drive in Wednesday's romp at San Diego.

He connected against James Shields to cap a four-run second inning and off Luis Avilan in the eighth . Barreto's first career multihomer game gave him a personal-best six RBIs.

It was quite a display for a player who had just two home runs prior to this run. Both came against the White Sox in 2017, including a drive against Shields (2-9) at Guaranteed Rate Field in his first major league game.

Sean Manaea (7-6) went seven innings, allowing one run and five hits. The 26-year-old left-hander struck out seven without a walk in winning his second straight start.

Shields has dropped back-to-back outings after beating Cleveland for his first victory since opening day. The right-hander gave up eight runs - two earned - and five hits in 4 2/3 innings.

BREAKING IT OPEN

Barreto's drive to left in the second came after a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Jonathan Lucroy. Olson got that burst started with one out when his hard grounder scooted under second baseman Yoan Moncada's glove for an error.

The Athletics took advantage of two more errors and a wild pitch while chasing Shields in a four-run fifth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: The Athletics activated LF Matt Joyce (strained lower back) from the 10-day disabled list and optioned OF Jake Smolinski to Triple-A Nashville. Joyce started the second game after being held out of the opener. ... 3B Matt Chapman (bruised right thumb) received a cortisone injection Tuesday. Manager Bob Melvin said the earliest he will be activated is Monday, when the Athletics open a four-game series at Detroit. ... Melvin also expects LHP Ryan Buchter (strained left shoulder) to be activated during the Detroit series. ... LHP Brett Anderson (strained left shoulder) is scheduled to throw about four innings and 60 pitches in a rehab outing for Triple-A Nashville on Saturday.

White Sox: The White Sox activated RF Avisail Garcia (strained right hamstring) and LF Leury Garcia (sprained left knee). Both players started Game 1 but were not in the lineup for the nightcap.

UP NEXT

Athletics: RHP Daniel Mengden (6-6, 4.06 ERA) looks to break out of a slump after going 0-2 with a 10.05 ERA in his first three starts this month.

White Sox: RHP Dylan Covey (3-2, 2.90) will try to rebound from a loss at Cleveland on Monday.

A's notes: Khris Davis continues to own Astros ace Justin Verlander

A's notes: Khris Davis continues to own Astros ace Justin Verlander

OAKLAND — Justin Verlander has made a lot of good hitters look silly over the years. Khris Davis is not one of them.

The A's slugger belted two home runs off Verlander, followed by a single, improving to 6-for-11 with four home runs in his career against the former MVP.

This was Davis' 21st career multi-homer game, and his sixth this season, tied for third most in Oakland history behind Reggie Jackson (eight), Jose Canseco (seven), and Mark McGwire (seven). Davis also set a career high with his eighth three-hit game of the season.

--- Despite allowing four earned runs, Verlander earned his 200th career win. He joins Bartolo Colon and CC Sabathia as the only active pitchers with at least 200 wins and 2,500 strikeouts.

--- The five home runs allowed by the A's tied a season high. Oakland also gave up five home runs June 5 at Texas.

--- The nine runs allowed by the A's were their most in a game since July 24 at Texas, a 13-10 win in 10 innings.

--- Sean Manaea allowed six runs, tying his season high. He gave up nine hits, also tying a season high.

--- Matt Olson went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to seven games, tying a career high.

--- Mark Canha is 0 for his last 11 at the plate. He is batting .125 (5-for-40) in the month of August.

--- Jonathan Lucroy snapped an 0-for-15 skid with a base hit in the seventh inning. He is batting .189 (7-for-37) in August.

What the A's proved after taking four of six from Astros and Mariners

What the A's proved after taking four of six from Astros and Mariners

OAKLAND — Take notice, Major League Baseball. The A's have declared themselves here to stay.

Despite Sunday's loss, Oakland finished off an impressive 4-2 week with series victories against both the Astros and Mariners, their top two competitors in the AL West.

Now with 38 games remaining, the A's sit at 74-50, just a game behind Houston for first place, and 3 1/2 games ahead of Seattle in the Wild Card race. It has become clear that Oakland will be in this division race until the very end.

“We've believed in ourselves since Spring Training, even when not a lot of people thought we should,” reliever Emilio Pagan said. “I think we made a statement coming out and taking the series against them, and Seattle, two really good teams. We feel good going forward.”

“Other teams know that we're good and we're a legit team,” added catcher Jonathan Lucroy. “They know that they have to have their best stuff to beat us.”

The A's have been the hottest team in baseball for more than two months now. Oakland is 40-14 in the last 54 games, a pretty significant sample size, signifying that this is not a fluke. The A's have proven they are one of the elite teams in the sport.

“I would definitely say we're very confident,” reliever Lou Trivino said. “Obviously it would have been nice to get the win here today, but as long as you can continue to win every series, that's really all you need to do. If we can continue to play like we're playing, we're definitely very confident.”

“I think it shows what kind of team we've got, the depth we've got, and how we play,” outfielder Nick Martini added.

The A's have also shown they can beat the league's other top teams. Oakland is 5-4 against the Red Sox and Yankees, who own the two best records in MLB. After losing eight in a row to the Astros, the A's have taken five of the last seven meetings.

“We're just a better team now,” said manager Bob Melvin. “Before, maybe we go out and hope to win those games against them, and now I think we go out and expect to win the games.”

And why shouldn't they? The A's have only lost one of their last 18 series. That type of consistency builds incredible confidence, even for a team lacking experience. This group knows they can compete with anyone in the league, even the defending World Series champions, and they won't settle for anything less than a division title.

It's now a 38-game sprint to the finish. Game on.