Chicago, IL – Josh Donaldson hit his first career grand slam in the top of the sixth inning that lifted the Oakland Athletics to a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox in the second of a four-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
With Oakland down 3-0 in the sixth, Adam Rosales singled to lead off. After Coco Crisp struck out, Jed Lowrie singled to left and Rosales reached third on the play on Alejandro De Aza's error. Yoenis Cespedes then drew a walk to set up Donaldson's smash.
Oakland starter Jarrod Parker (5-6) gave up three runs -- two earned -- on five hits and two walks over seven-plus frames. Grant Balfour pitched a perfect ninth, despite nearly allowing a home run that would have tied the game, to notch his 15th save.
"For us just to hang around tonight was huge," Parker said. "Donaldson came up with a huge hit. All around, we're just staying with it and not checking out early or settling with what we have."
The Athletics have won five straight games against the White Sox, including a three-game sweep in Oakland last weekend.
Tyler Flowers went 3-for-3 with a solo home run while De Aza and Dayan Viciedo each had an RBI for Chicago. Starter Chris Sale (5-4) pitched 7 1/3 innings and allowed just two hits through the first five before being tagged in the sixth.
"We are not playing like we want to play or should play, pitching, defense, hitting, all that stuff," Sale said. "We're just running into some tough breaks, running into some bad luck."
Chicago went hitless in the first two innings, but scored one run in each of its next three. Flowers' solo shot came with one out in the third. In the fourth, Alex Rios hit an infield single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Viciedo. De Aza plated Gordon Beckham with a sac fly in the fifth.
However, the White Sox offense had just one more hit through the final four frames, an infield single by Flowers to begin the eighth.
Balfour came to pitch in the ninth. With one out in the inning, Conor Gillaspie hammered a 1-2 pitch to right that would have been a home run but Josh Reddick made a leaping catch to save the game.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura missed his second straight game, as he was attending his daughter's graduation. They were also without bench coach Mark Parent, who managed the team in Thursday's 5-4 opener, as he attended his son's graduation. Pitching coach Don Cooper managed in their absence ... Coming in to the game, Sale had not given up more than two earned runs since April 13 against the Indians... Chicago has lost 10 of its last 11 games.