CHICAGO (AP) — Franklin Barreto insisted he didn’t make any big adjustments at the plate to spark this power surge. It’s just happening, and he sure is enjoying it.
Barreto hit a pair of three-run homers and the Oakland Athletics won their season-high fifth in a row, pounding the Chicago White Sox 11-2 Friday in the first game of a doubleheader.
The White Sox have lost eight in a row, their worst skid since a nine-game rut last July.
Barreto is on a tear the past two games, with three three-run homers.
He went deep in Wednesday’s romp at San Diego and went off against the White Sox.
Barreto’s first career multihomer game gave him a personal-best six RBIs.
It was quite a display for a player who had just two home runs prior to this run.
Both came against the White Sox in 2017, including a drive against Shields (2-9) at Guaranteed Rate Field in his first major league game.
“I have some good memories here,” he said through a translator.
Though Barreto came in with a .158 average, manager Bob Melvin said he is capable of delivering in a big way at the plate.
“We all know he’s got that in him,” Melvin said. “It’s just about getting him some consistent at-bats. When he’s swinging the bat well, he’s definitely capable of doing that.”
Sean Manaea (7-6) went seven innings, allowing one run and five hits.
The 26-year-old left-hander struck out seven without a walk in winning his second straight start.
Shields has dropped back-to-back outings after beating Cleveland for his first victory since opening day. The right-hander gave up eight runs — two earned — and five hits in 4 2/3 innings.
The White Sox have been outscored 54-18 during their losing streak.
“We can definitely get better,” Shields said. “We have to get better. We haven’t been playing very good baseball as of late and we have to pick our game up. That’s the name of the game. It’s the highest level of baseball right now and we’ve got to play that way.”
BREAKING IT OPEN
Barreto’s drive to left in the second came after a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Jonathan Lucroy.
Matt Olson got that burst started with one out when his hard grounder scooted under second baseman Yoan Moncada’s glove for an error.
The Athletics took advantage of two more errors and a wild pitch while chasing Shields in a four-run fifth.
Athletics: The Athletics activated OF Matt Joyce (strained lower back) from the 10-day disabled list and optioned OF Jake Smolinski to Triple-A Nashville. Joyce wasn’t in the lineup for the first game.
3B Matt Chapman (bruised right thumb) received a cortisone injection Tuesday. Melvin said the earliest he will be activated is Monday, when the Athletics open a four-game series at Detroit.
Melvin also expects LHP Ryan Buchter (strained left shoulder) to be activated during the Detroit series.
LHP Brett Anderson (strained left shoulder) is scheduled to throw about four innings and 60 pitches in a rehab outing for Triple-A Nashville on Saturday.
White Sox: RF Avisail Garcia was back in the lineup after missing two months because of a strained right hamstring. … LF Leury Garcia (sprained left knee) was also activated from the DL.
Athletics: RHP Chris Bassitt (0-2, 2.45) makes his third start for Oakland this year and second since being recalled from Triple-A on June 14. He is 0-8 in 14 starts since he beat Baltimore on Aug. 4, 2015.
White Sox: RHP Lucas Giolito (4-7, 7.19) is tied with Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez for third in the majors with 45 walks.
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