In a relatively brisk 2:55 in front of 13,005 at U.S. Cellular Field, the Oakland Athletics lost the third of four games against the Chicago White Sox by the score of 9-4. Cody Martin's second start for the Oakland Athletics went as well as his first, which is to say, poorly. Martin's fastball was registering around 85-87, and combined with tossing it down the middle to entirely too many batters, well, the result was six runs conceded, five of them scoring on three home runs.
Pat Venditte experienced a troubling loss of command after taking over for Martin in the fourth inning, throwing 10 straight balls to lead off the proceedings and allowing Martin's sixth run to score on Venditte's third consecutive base on balls. Two of those walks scored when Venditte's final batter, Melky Cabrera, doubled down the left field line.
After Venditte left, however, the bullpen held things down very well. Dan Otero allowed one inherited run on a fielder's choice that should have been an inning-ending double play but for a somewhat poor relay by second baseman Eric Sogard and a somewhat poor attempt to catch the bouncing throw by first baseman Billy Butler. Otero's own line was two innings pitched while allowing one hit and no runs. Arnold Leon, Fernando Abad, and R.J. Alvarez all pitched one-two-three innings.
The early innings were marked by long at bats that for the most part went the way of White Sox starter Erik Johnson. Johnson took 34 pitches to finish the second inning, for example, which only had five batters.
Oakland's offense wasn't exactly quiet, though certainly they were not as prodigious as they were Tuesday night. Mark Canha basically scored a run all by himself in the second inning. He drew a walk then made a very alert advance on a wild pitch, advanced to third on Billy Butler's ground ball to the right side, and scored on Brett Lawrie's sacrifice fly to deep fly.
Billy Butler also tacked on home run number 12 in the sixth inning against Johnson, a two-run blast that tightened the score to 9-3.
Unfortunately, White Sox reliever Frankie Montas effectively mixed his fastball that touched 100 mph at least once with a deceptive breaking ball that allowed Montes to pick up two strikeouts for the night.
The A's needed six in the bottom of the ninth to tie it up and exceed their five-run effort on Monday night. Tonight, Scott Carroll proved effective enough to limit the damage to just one run. Jake Smolinski obliterated a one-out home run halfway up the left field bleachers at The Cell to make it 9-4. With two out, Sam Fuld singled and Marcus Semien was hit by a pitch, but Reddick hit a hard grounder to first baseman Jose Abreu to end the game.
Oakland wraps up the series Thursday morning at 11:00 AM, with Sean Nolin set to go against Jose Quintana. But tonight in Chicago it was the A's 4, the Chicago White Sox 9.