(SportsNetwork.com) - Caught in a free fall, the Oakland Athletics try to put an end to the bleeding on Sunday as they close out a three-game set against the visiting Chicago White Sox.
Oakland, which is scheduled to hit the road this coming week versus Houston and Tampa Bay, has lost nine of the last 10 outings and has the worst winning percentage (.342) in the majors after dropping a 4-3 decision on Saturday.
The A's, all alone in last place in the American League West, actually led 2-0 after an inning before being stymied the rest of the way. Billy Butler knocked in both runs for the hosts as he belted his fourth home run of the campaign. Of the seven hits produced by Oakland, two came from Butler and two more off the bat of Marcus Semien.
Despite pitching less than an inning, Fernando Rodriguez was charged with the loss as he gave up two runs on three hits. Oakland starter Jesse Chavez permitted the same number of runs on eight hits and a pair of walks over six innings.
Over on the other side, Chicago hurler John Danks battled through seven innings, allowing two runs on three hits and three walks, striking out six for his second win of the season. David Robertson retired all four batters he faced, leading to his eighth save.
White Sox hitters scattered 13 hits, with four of the first five in the lineup having at least two hits. Melky Cabrera and Avisail Garcia both tallied three hits, the former scoring twice to match Adam Eaton at the top of the lineup.
"We're not an easy lineup, top to bottom," Danks said. "We play hard. We play until the last out. I knew that if I could keep them there or close to there, we would have a decent chance. Fortunately, things went our way and I was able to hold them there and we scored enough runs to win."
Jeff Samardzija faces off against his former team on Sunday afternoon as the right-hander shoots for his second win in as many decisions when he takes on the Oakland hitters.
The Notre Dame product, who had a record of 5-6 in 16 appearances for Oakland in 2014, was roughed up a bit in his last contest on Monday, but was not saddled with the loss even though Chicago bowed to Milwaukee on the road, 10-7.
Samardzija lasted six innings, permitting seven runs -- five earned -- on eight hits and a walk, while striking out six. In four road games, Samardzija has a record of 0-2 with a 6.48 ERA to show for his efforts.
Over on the other side, getting the call for the A's is Scott Kazmir. The Houston native is coming off a season in which he registered a 15-9 mark in his first campaign with Oakland.
This time around he has had some issues getting back into the win column after starting out 2-0. In fact, aside from an ugly loss to Minnesota 11 days ago, Kazmir has come up empty in four outings, all of which turned into losses for the club.
On Monday the hurler lasted six innings for the third game in a row, allowing two runs on four hits and a season-high four bases-on-balls before exiting versus Boston.
For his career, Kazmir has a record of 3-6 with a 5.35 ERA in 12 outings against the White Sox.