The Oakland A’s and Chicago White Sox met on the South Side with identical records and in entirely different situations.
The White Sox are cruising with a 10 game lead in first place in the AL Central. The Oakland A’s have a handful of teams vying for a postseason spot they hope to hold. But the White Sox prevailed, beating the A’s 5-2 on Monday night.
Frankie Montas looked sharp, particularly with his splitter. In his five inning outing, Montas threw the splitter 29 ties and generated 10 swings and misses. Four of his six strikeouts came on the splitter, which all fell out of the strikeout and gave catcher Yan Gomes a workout.
The White Sox chipped away to erase an early A’s 2-0 lead, tacking eight singles and putting the leadoff batter on base in four of the five innings to churn out three runs against him. Chicago scored on a Cesar Hernandez sacrifice fly, Seby Zavala two-out single, an Eloy Jimenez rocket that bounced in and out of Matt Chapman’s glove at third base. Zavala’s squeeze bunt that scored Luis Robert, who singled, stole second and advanced on a ground out came against Yusmeiro Petit.
The A’s crossed two runs early against Chicago’s starter Dallas Keuchel, who started off shaky. Matt Chapman hit his 18th home run and fourth home run in three games in to give the A’s a 1-0 lead. Then Mark Canha knocked a bases-loaded single to score another, but the A’s couldn’t keep the line moving.
Keuchel settled in, allowing just five hits through five innings to make way for hard-throwing Michael Kopech, who hurled 100mph fastballs in 2 hitless innings.
Against Craig Kimbrel, Matt Olson was hit by a pitch and Jed Lowrie hit a ground-rule double to put runners on second and third with one out. But Chapmand and Josh Harrison succumbed to Kimbrel’s devastating knuckle curveball and four-seamer.
Deolis Guerra gave up Chicago’s only extra-base hit of the night: Luis Robert’s solo home run in the eighth inning.
Former A’s closer Liam Hendriks had two strikeouts in the ninth to close the game.
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Author: Shayna Rubin