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Athletics can’t find any offense in 6-1 loss to White Sox

Oakland managed just two hits on the afternoon.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight game, the Oakland Athletics’ bats fell silent in a 6-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

Paul Blackburn found himself in some early trouble as Tim Anderson sent a fly ball to right that Seth Brown was unable to come up with for a double. Blackburn got Andrew Benintendi to pop out for the first out, but then walked Eloy Jimenez. Andrew Vaughn followed with a single to left that scored Anderson to put Chicago in front 1-0. The throw home was cut off and the A’s were able to nab Jimenez who went too far rounding second for the second out. That play would be big as Yoan Moncada singled to right to put runners at the corners, but Blackburn got Gavin Sheets to pop out to avoid any more damage.

Mike Clevinger struck out three of the first five hitters he faced before Aledmys Diaz worked a walk to give Oakland their first baserunner. However, the A’s weren’t able to move him along as Carlos Perez flied to left to end the second inning.

Blackburn had a much easier inning in the second retiring the bottom third of the White Sox’s order in order. He struck out Anderson to start the third, but Benintendi followed with a single. Blackburn then struck out Jimenez for the second out before Vaughn sent a rocket down the third base line that Jordan Diaz made an excellent stop on, but then airmailed the throw over Ryan Noda’s head at first. Benintendi scored all the way from first to make it 2-0. Moncada followed with yet another single to put runners at first and third. Blackburn then walked Sheets and uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Vaughn to score to extend the deficit to 3-0.

Clevinger retired six straight A’s hitters before walking Rooker with two outs in the fourth, but struck out Tony Kemp to end the inning. The A’s went down in order in the fifth, but Esteury Ruiz broke up the no-hitter with a single to start the sixth. Ruiz didn’t waste any time picking up his 50th stolen base of the season to move into scoring position.

Noda went down swinging for the first out. With Zack Gelof at the plate, Ruiz swiped third. Gelof then delivered a sacrifice fly to Oakland on the board 3-1. Brown struck out to end the inning and was then ejected along with manager Mark Kotsay at the end of the inning.

Blackburn settled in after the rough third and retired seven-straight hitters. Moncada doubled to start the sixth and advanced an extra 90 feet as Ruiz was unable to handle the carom in right. Sheets then dropped in a bloop single over the drawn in infield to push the lead to 4-1.

Spencer Patton came on pitch in the seventh. Sunday’s start was a mixed bag for Blackburn overall. He allowed nine hits, two walks and four runs over six innings. He struck out four while throwing 104 pitches. The defense behind him certainly didn’t do him any favors.

Things didn’t start great for Patton. Anderson reached on an infield single and then moved to second on a soft single by Benintendi. Patton got Jimenez to fly out for the first out and then struck out Vaughn. Bench coach Darren Bush then popped out of the dugout and signaled for Francisco Perez to come into the game to face Moncada who doubled, scoring both runners to make it 6-1.

Clevinger, Lane Ramsey combined to retire seven-straight Oakland hitters before Tanner Banks walked Noda to start the ninth. Gelof lined out to Anderson for the first out before Lawrence Butler reached on an infield single for just the A’s second hit of the game. Banks struck out Brent Rooker for the second out and then got Kemp to fly out to end the game.

The loss drops Oakland to 38-93 for the season and they have to settle for a split in the four-game series. They will continue their road trip Monday where they will begin a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners.