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Sergio Santos loses his slider and A’s end their 10-game losing streak

Sergio Santos, Ramon Castro

Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Sergio Santos, right, listens to catcher Ramon Castro during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Chicago, Wednesday, June 8, 2011. The Mariners won 7-4. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)


It looked like it was going to be 11 in a row for the A’s, but in new manager Bob Melvin’s second game at the helm, the team’s newest acquisition came up big.

Scott Sizemore hit a three-run double in the top of the ninth to give the A’s a 7-5 lead and halt the team’s long losing streak Friday with a victory over the White Sox.

Sergio Santos blew his second save in 13 attempts for the White Sox. The converted shortstop just couldn’t find his slider tonight. He got two outs to begin the ninth in a 5-3 game, but he then walked Josh Willingham, who took second on fielder’s indifference. Hideki Matsui singled him in and then Santos walked Daric Barton and hit Kurt Suzuki with a breaking ball to load the bases.

Left with nothing but his straight fastball, Santos proved hittable. Sizemore drilled one to the gap in left-center, clearing the bases with ease. Sizemore finished the game -- his third since replacing Kevin Kouzmanoff as the team’s third baseman -- 3-for-4 with a walk. The former Tiger is 5-for-9 since his callup.

And now the A’s are on the board again, even though Graham Godfrey struggled in his major league debut, giving up five runs in 4 1/3 innings. Edwin Jackson pitched six innings of two-run ball for the White Sox, only to have the bullpen let him down. Santos has suddenly given up seven runs in his last two appearances, taking his ERA from 1.24 to 3.23. It’s not going to cost him the closer’s role, but the White Sox are surely concerned. For all of his velocity, he doesn’t have the fastball movement to succeed when his slider isn’t working.