All evening long, the White Sox made the most with the least. The Athletics outhit the Sox 10-7, and they outwalked the Sox 7-1. Reynaldo López only got one swinging strike through the first five innings, and he pitched into the seventh without allowing a run.
So perhaps it was never quite fair that the White Sox were one out away from winning this one 3-0, and the subsequent rally and Ryan Goins error that made it 3-2 and forced Alex Colomé to strand the tying run on second better reflected the balance of this game.
However it happened, the White Sox were able to secure their first victory against Oakland in five tries this season.
The White Sox overcame the odds — and terrible raw counting stats — by winning on the margins. They scored two of the three runs with their legs, and played fantastic defense through the first eight innings to short-circuit Oakland rallies. It also helped that the A’s couldn’t get enough lift on their best contact, limiting them to hard singles and lineouts.
Leury García scored the first Sox run by stealing second — which somehow wasn’t overturned by a review that seemed to show Marcus Semien slapping the tag on him a frame before García’s fingers touched the bag — after which he stole third and advanced home when the throw got past Matt Chapman.
Tim Anderson scored the last Sox run by scoring from first on a Welington Castillo single to left. He was off on a 3-2 pitch with two outs, and while Chad Pinder kept the ball from going to the warning track, it was still deep enough to force a perfect relay the A’s couldn’t execute.
In between, Eloy Jiménez homered on his bobblehead day.
The Sox made those three single tallies stand up with great glovework all over. Tim Anderson made a flat-footed throw on an impressive 4-6-3 double play, Yolmer Sánchez turned a 5-4-3 double play with one of his lightning-fast transfers, and Jon Jay tracked down a bases-loaded drive to the gap that saved Evan Marshall and Aaron Bummer multiple runs. Anderson also thwarted a threat by making a tricky stop and throw from behind second base on the kind of play that sprained his ankle.
The A’s were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13, and only scored because Goins tried to backhand a short-hop with two outs in the ninth and ended up matadoring it into left field. The previous two two-out singles Colomé allowed came around to score, but aside from some unneeded tension, the 27,026 in attendance for Jiménez figurines went home happy.
*Sánchez had a homer overturned when his deep drive that hooked into Section 108 was ruled to have crossed in front of the foul pole, not behind it. He ended up singling, and his baserunner ended up turning into the García run after a fielder’s choice.
*Jose Abreu reached base on a double, single and intentional walk, but the guys in front of and behind him went 0-for-7 with five strikeouts.
*López’s final line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K.
Record: 52-63 | Box score | Highlights
Sox ended up winning this game because of their speed. Their first run came from Leury’s hustle on the bases, and Anderson tallied the insurance run by scoring from first on a single. Yes, Jimenez hit a home run, which was nice to see, but without the speed on the bases, this could have been a 2-1 loss.
A few years ago, Kansas City used to win games like that by putting pressure on the opposition and forcing defensive misplays. It was great to pull out a game like that for a change.
Very good pitching outing by Lopez. It’s looking like we can count on him to be a rotation piece next season after all.
Usually Capra’s decisions to send are pretty boneheaded but they worked great here.
Would like to see Joel Booker get a chance to show off his speed.