Brandon McCarthy gave up three solo homers Friday night and that was enough to ruin his return from the disabled list.
Jordan Danks hit his first major league homer in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Chicago White Sox overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Oakland Athletics 4-3.
McCarthy, who had been sidelined with a strained shoulder, made his first start for the A's since June 19. He was staked to an early 3-0 lead but couldn't hold it, allowing three home runs for the first time since May 13, 2009, with Texas against Seattle.
"Nothing was really as sharp as I would like or commanded as well as I would like," McCarthy said. "The cutter wasn't great. Everything kind of went up and down as the game went along. Sometimes pitches were good and sometimes they weren't."
With two outs in the ninth, Danks sent the first pitch he saw from Pat Neshek (1-1) deep into the right-field seats for Chicago's fourth solo shot of the game. Dayan Viciedo, A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez also connected.
"You don't see that often, but they were four pitches that were hittable pitches and they took advantage of all of them," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said.
Brandon Moss hit a two-run homer for Oakland.
Brett Myers (1-1) pitched a scoreless inning to help the AL Central leaders win for the 11th time in 16 games. Viciedo tied it at 3 with his homer in the seventh, snapping a 5-for-43 slide.
McCarthy, who broke into the majors with the White Sox in 2005, was chased by Viciedo's drive. He went six-plus innings, allowing three runs and six hits.
"(I felt) fine. A little tired at the end, but other than that, everything was good," McCarthy said.
Three of Chicago's four home runs came on the first pitch.
"They're a very aggressive team, very aggressive," Melvin said. "We knew that going in. I don't think it's a secret to anybody."
Before the game, the White Sox placed All-Star slugger Paul Konerko on the seven-day concussion disabled list. The first baseman took an elbow to the right temple area Tuesday on a close play at first and is eligible to return Aug. 17.
"It's not going to be easy not having him in the lineup," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "It's the best thing for him to get him back at full strength. We're just going to have to find ways to have guys like Jordan Danks come through in ways like that."
The White Sox won for the 14th time in 18 home games and maintained a one-game lead over second-place Detroit.
"Being late in the game, especially bottom of the ninth, it's something that everybody dreams about their whole life," Danks said. "Right before that I saw myself doing it and it was just one of those things. It was just awesome."
Pierzynski extended his career high with his 22nd homer in the second and Ramirez hit a hanging curve from McCarthy out to left in the fourth, his fifth of the year.
"I thought he pitched well, pounded the zone like he normally does, used his all his pitches," Melvin said. "He might not have had his best curveball today, but he pitched in the same fashion that we've seen him for the most part when he's healthy and pitching well."
Moss provided the big early blow for Oakland with his 12th home run. After Chris Carter's ground-rule double leading off the second, he hit a towering drive down the right-field line off starter Gavin Floyd to give the Athletics a 3-0 cushion.
Floyd allowed seven runners in the first three innings, but pitched into the seventh. He gave up three runs and seven hits. The White Sox bullpen backed him up with three scoreless innings.
Oakland got on the board in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Josh Reddick.
A single in the third extended Yoenis Cespedes' road hitting streak to 16 games. He's batting .422 during that span.
The Athletics trail AL West leader Texas by 5½ games and dropped a half-game behind Detroit and Baltimore in the wild-card race. Oakland is 23-10 in its last 33 games and 19-14 in one-run games this season.
NOTES: Oakland announced starting pitchers Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker would be pushed back and LHP Travis Blackley will make a spot start Saturday. Parker is expected to start Tuesday in Kansas City and Milone next Friday against Cleveland. ... The White Sox send LHP Francisco Liriano (3-10, 5.03 ERA) to the mound against Blackley (4-3, 3.30) on Saturday.