Published June 09, 2013
| Sports Network
With their first win of the season against Oakland now under their belts, the Chicago White Sox try to close out a four-game set on a positive note Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.
Just 2-8 over the last 10 games, the White Sox find themselves all alone in last place in the American League Central, eight games under .500 and just as many games off the lead for first place.
On Saturday Chicago moved one game over .500 at home (14-13) thanks to a 4-1 victory in large part to starting pitcher John Danks, who effectively shut down the visitors. Danks allowed just a single run on three hits, striking out six over eight innings. Addison Reed stepped in for the ninth inning and picked up his 18th save.
Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn both accounted for a pair of hits, going deep as the former delivered his sixth of the season with a two-run shot in the eighth inning and the latter belted his 14th, a solo shot to lead off the second.
"Man, we know these guys are capable of putting up crooked numbers every inning," said Danks of the White Sox offense. "We hear what people say about them outside the field, but when they get here, as a pitching staff we have full trust in those guys. We know they're capable of busting the game wide open. We were excited to see that."
Tommy Milone made the start for Oakland, permitting just one run on four hits and striking out seven over seven innings, but he failed to factor into the decision after Sean Doolittle was exploited for three runs on three hits and a walk in the eighth. Charged with his first loss of 2013, Doolittle recorded just a single out in the frame.
Coco Crisp accounted for two of the four hits produced by the A's, scoring the team's lone run in the top of the first on a single to center by Josh Donaldson.
Despite the setback, the A's are still tied with Boston for the most victories in the AL (38) and lead the AL West by one-half game over a Texas group which has fallen in three straight.
Taking the hill for the A's Sunday before the team returns home to host the New York Yankees on Tuesday will be A.J. Griffin. The right-hander actually had one of his best outings of the season the last time out, throwing against Milwaukee on the road Tuesday, but he failed to pick up a decision.
The A's eventually lost to the Brewers by a final of 4-3 at Miller Park, but that was by no means the fault of Griffin, who allowed just four hits over seven shutout innings. The California native issued one walk and struck out five for the second straight game and third time in the last four appearances.
Now in just his second major league season, this meeting figures to be the first ever for Griffin against Chicago.
As for the White Sox, they too are going with a relative youngster in Hector Santiago, who is in just his third major league campaign. A 30th-round draft pick by Chicago in 2006, the left-hander is going up against Oakland for the second time this month, having lost to the A's back on June 1 when he gave up one run on two hits and a staggering five walks in just 1 2/3 innings.
A relief pitcher who has been forced into the starting lineup, Santiago last pitched four days ago against Seattle on the road, recording just two outs as the Sox picked up a 7-5 win. In his seven previous appearances, Chicago came out on the losing end of every single one.
For his career, Santiago has a mark of 0-2 with an ERA of 18.00 after pitching a mere two innings versus Oakland.
Prior to yesterday's triumph, Chicago had lost all five games to the A's this season.