CHICAGO (CBS) — The Oakland Athletics made another costly mistake Sunday.
A low throw by second baseman Chad Pinder on a double-play attempt led to Chicago scoring three runs in the first inning and the Athletics never recovered on the way to a 4-2 loss to the White Sox on Sunday.
“I’ve just got to be better and more accurate with that throw,” said Pinder, who had several family members in attendance for his first start in the majors.
The loss was Oakland’s seventh in its last eight games.
“We had a bad trip,” frustrated A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “You know, 1-5 is no good.”
Zach Neal (2-3) allowed four runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings in place of Jesse Hahn, who had been expected to come off the disabled list. Hahn suffered discomfort in his strained right shoulder in a bullpen session on Friday and will need another rehab game before rejoining the Athletics’ rotation.
Jose Quintana pitched into the eighth inning to earn a career-best 10th win and Jose Abreu homered for the second straight game to lead Chicago. Todd Frazier had three hits and drove in two runs, and Justin Morneau added an RBI double in a three-run first as the White Sox took the final two games of the series. Tim Anderson also had three hits.
The White Sox staked Quintana to a 3-0 lead in the bottom half. After the A’s failed to turn Abreu’s grounder into an inning-ending double play, Morneau doubled in the first run. Then Frazier’s single drove in two more.
“I can’t control that (throw),” Neal said. “My job there is to get a ground ball and try to force two (outs), and I did. Some days it’s turned. Some days it’s not. That’s just the way it is.”
Khris Davis hit his 32nd homer, a two-run shot, off Quintana (10-9) who finished with nine wins in each of the previous three seasons. The left-hander gave up eight hits while striking out six and walking one to improve to 5-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last nine starts.
Oakland’s Marcus Semien had two doubles and Jake Smolinski singled twice.
Quintana got two quick strikes on Smolinski to lead off the eighth, but walked him and then was replaced by Nate Jones. After Jones tossed a scoreless inning, David Robertson go the last three outs for his 32nd save in 38 chances.
“It helps a lot especially for him, the lack of run support he’s had over a period of time,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said of the early lead. “It looks a little bit like his day. After (the first), he was pretty strong.”
Quintana, who entered with a run support average of 3.31 per nine innings pitched — second lowest in the AL — got more help than usual from his teammates, both offensively and defensively.
Center fielder J.B. Shuck made two great catches, including a running grab of Ryon Healy’s hard-hit line drive with two outs in the first and runners on second and third.
After Semien led off the fourth with his second double of game, Davis followed with his homer deep to right center to cut it to 3-2. Shuck made a another great catch, this time diving to grab Brett Eibner’s sinking liner, for the second out.
Abreu led off the bottom half with his 16th homer to make it 4-2.
Pinder, who went 0 for 4 in major league debut Saturday, was back in the lineup and got an infield single in the seventh for his first career hit. The A’s second-round pick in 2013, Pinder is the 46th player to appear in a game for Oakland this season.
Athletics: DH Billy Butler sat out with a stomach illness for the second day. … LHP Sean Doolittle, on the DL since June 26 (strained left shoulder), will have his rehab assignment at Triple-A Nashville extended a few more days. … RHP Henderson Alvarez, out all season as recovers from shoulder surgery, threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session on Sunday and will be re-evaluated on Monday.
White Sox: INF Tyler Saladino (back) didn’t start for a third game for what manager Robin Ventura called “precautionary” reasons, but is expected to return Tuesday. … 2B Brett Lawrie (hamstring, quadriceps) left Double-A Birmingham’s game on Saturday after four innings after sitting out two games. Ventura said Lawrie needs to show he can go longer in a game before returning.
Athletics: RHP Andrew Triggs (0-1, 4.98) faces RHP Carlos Carrasco (8-6, 3.34) as the A’s open a three game series at Cleveland.
White Sox: Following a day off on Monday, LHP Carlos Rodon (3-8, 4.26) takes the mound against Jake Thompson (1-2, 8.79) when Chicago hosts the Phillies in the first of a two-game set. Rodon is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 16 strikeouts in his last three starts after a stint on DL (sprained left wrist).
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