CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox were happy to walk away with a victory after blowing a four-run lead in the ninth inning.
Melky Cabrera drove in Geovany Soto with two outs in the 14th inning to give the White Sox an 8-7 win Monday night over the Oakland Athletics.
Cabrera singled off Arnold Leon (0-2) to end the season’s longest game for both teams, one that lasted 5 hours, 9 minutes.
“It was a long game but at the end we got the win,” Cabrera said through a translator.
Dan Jennings (2-3) pitched two scoreless innings in relief for Chicago, which squandered a 7-3 lead in the ninth when David Robertson allowed four runs.
The Athletics loaded the bases on a Brett Lawrie double, Danny Valencia reaching after he swung through a Robertson wild pitch for strike three, then Josh Reddick getting to first on a catcher’s interference by Tyler Flowers wiping out a potential game-ending double play.
Robertson walked Coco Crisp to bring in a run, and after striking out Jake Smolinski for the second out, allowed Sam Fuld’s two-run single and then threw a passed ball when he crossed up Flowers to bring in Crisp to even the game.
“We managed to make a debacle of the ninth inning,” Flowers said, standing next to Robertson.
Jose Abreu and Trayce Thompson hit two-run homers off Sonny Gray in the third.
John Danks went seven innings and allowed three runs and three hits. He only surrendered solo homers to Smolinski in the third, Lawrie in the fourth and Reddick in the seventh.
Gray was charged with a season-high seven runs while allowing eight hits, four walks and the two homers in three-plus innings in his shortest start of the year. His recent problems with the home run continued, after Gray entered Monday having allowed six in his previous six starts.
The seven earned runs matched a career-high and Gray’s ERA rose from 2.28 to 2.56 for Oakland.
“I just didn’t throw enough strikes tonight and they made me pay for it with a couple big swings,” Gray said.
After the third, Gray’s issues carried into the bottom of the fourth when he was charged with three more runs and went behind 7-2. Gray walked Alexei Ramirez with the bases loaded and Abreu followed with a two-run single to end the right-hander’s night.
“The homers were down, but probably just caught a little bit more of the middle of the plate than he normally does with those pitches,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
But that was hours before Chicago salvaged a win to end a long game.
“Bullpen-wise, they did great. They were able to keep it going until we finally scored,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. “But you’re more than disappointed with how the ninth went.”
Thompson left the game after he dove for Lawrie’s ball in the ninth and landed awkwardly on his left arm. The resulting double also ended Robertson’s streak of 26 consecutive batters retired.
Ventura said Thompson suffered a hyperextended left elbow and was listed as day to day.
“It’s not that bad,” Thompson said.
White Sox rookie LHP Carlos Rodon is expected to make his next start sometime this weekend in Cleveland. Rodon’s most recent start was last Tuesday against the Indians as Chicago uses a six-man rotation.
Rodon is 7-6 with a 3.94 ERA in 125 2-3 innings. He also threw 10 at Triple-A Charlotte before joining Chicago.
As for whether LHP Chris Sale could be limited down the stretch, Ventura said a decision will be made “by how he feels.” At 250 strikeouts, Sale is unlikely to reach the 300 milestone this year but getting there wouldn’t be a motivation to keep him throwing.
Athletics: OF Billy Burns (right hamstring) went through full baseball activities Monday and might be available during this four-game series. … RHP Edward Mujica (strained right hamstring) won’t do anything over the next few days after leaving Sunday’s game. He will be re-evaluated later this week. . RHP Chris Bassitt (right shoulder soreness) threw a bullpen session Monday.
White Sox: OF Avisail Garcia (back) returned to the starting lineup as Chicago’s designated hitter after missing Sunday’s game. . 1B/DH Adam LaRoche (right knee tendinitis) didn’t start.
Oakland RHP Aaron Brooks (1-3, 7.62) faces Chicago RHP Jeff Samardzija (9-12, 4.89) on Tuesday. Samardzija was dealt by Oakland to the White Sox over the offseason for a package of prospects led by INF Marcus Semien and Bassitt.
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