Published April 24, 2012
OAKLAND, Calif. – The Oakland Athletics continue to have problems scoring, and not even the arrival of a new third baseman was enough to lift manager Bob Melvin's club out of its collective slump.
Simply getting on base against Chicago's Jake Peavy turned into a monumental task for the American League's lowest scoring team.
Peavy pitched a three-hitter and faced only four batters more than the minimum while helping the White Sox to a 4-0 win on Monday night, sending the slumping A's to their third loss in four games.
"I didn't think our approach was great," Melvin said. "Every time it looks like we get over the hump and have a decent offensive game, we have a bad offensive game, and that was the case (tonight)."
Two days after Chicago teammate Phil Humber pitched the 21st perfect game in major league history, Peavy allowed only a leadoff single to Jemile Weeks in the fourth inning, a double to Yoenis Cespedes in the seventh and a single to Coco Crisp in the ninth. The 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner needed only 107 pitches to complete his gem and push the White Sox into a first-place tie with idle Detroit in the AL Central.
The A's, conversely, were shut out for a league-leading fourth time this season and have scored just 52 runs through 18 games. That's the second-fewest in the majors behind Pittsburgh, which has 30 runs in 15 games.
"We're on and off, on and off," Weeks said. "If we can get some back to back (offensive) days going, I think we'll be more fluent in our offense."
The lack of offense kept Oakland starter Bartolo Colon from becoming the first four-game winner in the majors this season.
Colon (3-2) scattered seven hits over seven innings with three walks and two strikeouts. He gave up back-to-back home runs to Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko in the fourth and allowed only two other runners to reach second base.
"It was similar to what we've seen, a lot of strikes," Melvin said. "To give up just two to that team, you're giving your team a chance to win."
The two home runs ended Colon's shutout streak of 18 1-3 innings and gave Peavy more than enough room to work with.
Colon, who threw 38 consecutive strikes in his previous start against the Angels, put together another streak of 20 straight during one stretch and got the White Sox to ground into three double plays.
With no run support, though, it didn't matter.
It was the sixth shutout of Peavy's career and his 10th complete game.
Since drawing a no-decision against Texas in his first start this season, Peavy has a 1.19 ERA over his last 22 2-3 innings.
The only time he ran into trouble came after Weeks' single in the fourth. Peavy walked the next batter, Crisp, but got Josh Reddick to hit into a double play and then retired Cespedes on a foul pop to the catcher.
Dunn homered on the first pitch from Colon leading off the fourth, a towering shot to left. Konerko followed with a drive to center, the 399th home run of his career.
Chicago added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth on RBI singles by Gordon Beckham and A.J. Pierzynski.
The loss spoiled the A's debut of third baseman Luke Hughes.
Hughes, claimed off waivers from Minnesota a day earlier, arrived in Oakland about two hours before the first pitch and was immediately put into the starting lineup. He got off to a shaky start with his new team, committing a pair of throwing errors.
NOTES: Melvin said the A's plan to call up Jarrod Parker from the minors to start Wednesday's series finale. ... To make room for Hughes, the A's optioned INF Josh Donaldson to Triple-A Sacramento. Donaldson entered spring training as a backup catcher but was moved to third base after Scott Sizemore's season-ending knee injury during the team's first full-squad workout. ... RHP Gavin Floyd (1-2), who has won three of his four starts against Oakland, pitches for Chicago on Tuesday. Tommy Milone (2-1) goes for the A's.