The A’s got embarrassed on Thursday night, losing to the Chicago White Sox 14-2 in the first game of the series.
As you can see from the final score, pretty much nothing went Oakland’s way as the teams struggled on both sides of the ball. The pitching allowed 21(!) hits, including five home runs, while the bats collected just six of their own and a couple meaningless eighth inning runs to prevent the shutout.
After beginning his Oakland career with five solid starts, JP Sears finally had a dud for his new team. He was knocked around hard and often tonight, serving up back-to-back homers to start this game (including a leadoff bomb from former shortstop Elvis Andrus), and then four more runs in the second. He finished the inning but his day was done after just two frames.
-JP Sears: 2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 59 pitches
His replacement out of the bullpen didn’t fare much better against the Chicago offense. Needing to soak up a bunch of innings after a short outing from the starter, manager Mark Kotsay turned to Zach Logue, who has started 10 games for the club this year and could help pick up the load from Sears. He provided the innings with three frames, but he also let this game get ugly, allowing 10 hits and 8 runs during his outing tonight, boosting his season ERA to 6.79. Yikes.
On the positive side of the pitching, new reliever Tyler Cyr had a successful second appearance for the A’s, throwing three shutout innings while allowing a pair of hits and three K’s. A much better performance the second time from the Fremont native.
The offense, meanwhile, had no answer for Chicago starter and AL Cy Young contender Dylan Cease, managing just three hits and a pair of walks against the right-hander.
It wasn’t until the eighth inning that the A’s finally broke up the shutout. Finally into the Chicago bullpen, a leadoff single, double, and sac fly from Shea Langeliers gave Oakland their first run, and a groundout from a pinch-hitting Sheldon Neuse gave them their second. That was all the offense managed tonight as they went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.
After getting that pinch-hit, Kotsay rewarded Neuse with pitching the ninth inning. And he didn’t do half bad, allowing just one single in his inning of work.
Definitely not the best way to start a series but hey, these things happen. They’ll need to have a short memory and forget about this one fast because they’re right back at it tomorrow night, same time same place. Right-header James Kaprielian will make his return to the starting rotation after a brief stint in the ‘pen, and he’ll be opposed by Lucas Giolito. Should be a game Friday evening matchup at the Coliseum.