Make it four losses in a row, and 15 in their last 21 games, as the Oakland A’s tailspin continues.
This time the A’s dropped a 6-3 decision to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday in the opener of a series at the Coliseum.
*** Click here to revisit tonight’s Game Thread! ***
Both teams scored in the 1st inning, but Chicago took a lead in the 5th and added some insurance in the 8th. The A’s put together a rally in the bottom of the 8th to pick up a pair of runs, but it was too little too late.
On the pitching side, James Kaprielian mostly kept the White Sox off the board for four innings but wasn’t efficient enough to work deeper into the game. He loaded the bases in the 1st and escaped with only one run allowed, then stranded at least one runner in each of the next three frames. He got squeezed on one of his walks, and it maybe should have been a strikeout.
- Kaprielian: 4 ip, 1 run, 4 Ks, 2 BB, 5 hits, 92 pitches, 86.3 mph EV
The rookie is well past his professional career-high in innings, and he got knocked around in his previous two starts, so it was a positive to see him keep the ball in the park against a top opponent. But the short duration meant five innings for the bullpen, and they weren’t able to keep the magic going.
In the 5th, A.J. Puk entered for relief, and his first four batters hit singles. Then a strikeout, then another single, all for a total of three runs. Next up was Daulton Jefferies, who kept things quiet until the 8th, when Chicago put together one more rally to chase him. Jefferies got the first two outs of the frame but then put a pair of runners on base and was lifted for Jake Diekman, who came in, uncorked a wild pitch to advance both runners, and allowed a soft flare single to knock them both home.
Meanwhile, Oakland’s offense matched the scoring in the 1st and 8th but not the outburst in the 5th.
In the 1st, Josh Harrison led off with a double, Starling Marte hit a rocket to center but found a glove for a productive out, and Matt Olson lofted a sac fly to plate Harrison. At the time, that tied the game.
Later, after the White Sox pushed the score to 6-1 in the 8th, the A’s answered back to stay close. Yan Gomes led off with a single, and Elvis Andrus followed with a sharp single that was misplayed in the outfield, giving it the effect of an RBI double. Two batters later, Marte stung a single up the middle to drive home Andrus.
The A's are fighting back in the 8th pic.twitter.com/zvrZAbDFkA— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 8, 2021
Marte went on to steal second (his MLB-leading 43rd of the year), and moved to third on an errant throw, but was stranded there. He hit the ball hard all four times tonight, and Statcast says each one usually falls for a hit more than 50% of the time, but he ended up 1-for-4.
In the 9th inning, Liam Hendriks retired Oakland in order to earn the save against his former club.
Adding injury to insult, here are a couple new issues.
Josh Harrison was removed with left lower back tightness from a dive on defense, Bob Melvin said. Tony Kemp was pinch-hit for because of a left wrist issue.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) September 8, 2021
Not a great day overall.
24 games left
Try again tomorrow.
Matt Olson: “We’re on the outside looking in. We know we have the talent in here. We truly believe we’re a team that should be in the playoffs and make a long run. We gotta pick it up from the last four games. If we don’t, we’re not gonna like the results."— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) September 8, 2021