Chicago, IL – A.J. Pierzynski clubbed a tiebreaking, two-run homer to highlight a five-run sixth inning that propelled the Chicago White Sox to a 7-3 win over the Oakland Athletics in the rubber match of a three- game set.
Gordon Beckham delivered a two-out, two-run single later in the sixth for the AL Central-leading White Sox, who have won 12 of their last 18 games.
Chris Sale (14-3) continued his strong play at home by striking out 11 over 6 2/3 innings. The southpaw gave up home runs to Jonny Gomes and Adam Rosales among six hits, improving to 6-0 over his last seven outings at U.S. Cellular Field.
"I'd put him up there with anybody," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Sale. "He's young, but he's still one of the best guys in the league."
Derek Norris also homered for Oakland, while Bartolo Colon (9-9) surrendered six runs -- five earned -- on nine hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. Colon had allowed just one unearned run over his three previous starts.
"He has a good fastball that runs quite a bit," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin of Sale. "When he keeps the ball down, he's tough."
The White Sox moved ahead in the sixth after Gomes had tied the game in the top of the inning. Alex Rios stroked a one-out single and Pierzynski followed with a home run to left field, giving Chicago a 3-1 lead.
Dayan Viciedo kept the frame alive with a two-out double and came around to score on a single by the repatriated DeWayne Wise. Ray Olmedo then singled and Colon intentionally walked Alejandro De Aza to load the bases. The move backfired when Beckham plated a pair with a grounder to left field.
After Rosales took Sale deep in the seventh, Pierzynski used heads-up baserunning to score from first in the home half on a ball that didn't leave the infield.
Addison Reed gave up a home run to Norris in the ninth.
Chicago opened the scoring on Adam Dunn's third-inning sacrifice fly. De Aza had worked a one-out walk and advanced to third on an E6 before racing home on Dunn's fly ball to left.
Pierzynski extended his hitting streak to 13 games...Dunn has 998 career RBI...Rios collected three hits...The White Sox improved to 25-16 in day games this season.