The Oakland A’s winning streak has come to an end. After winning six games in a row, which included sweeping the Washington Nationals at home, the Chicago White Sox were able to shut down the Athletics in the third and final game of their series. It all started just one week go when the A’s won the second game of the double header against the Seattle Mariners.
The Athletics had lost the first three games against the Mariners, and the win at the end of the series must have sparked a fire within the A’s. When the Nationals came to Oakland, the Athletics went on a tear. They won two of the three games by more than eight runs and their hot hitting continued into the series against the Chicago White Sox. On Tuesday night, the team combined had 17 hits and 11 runs. It seemed as though the Athletics’ bats could not be silenced.
Wednesday’s game started smoothly enough for the Athletics. The two teams were tied at one going into the fourth inning. Josh Donaldson then gave the Athletics the lead with a solo home run. A’s starting pitcher Tommy Milone, who pitched six shutout innings besides the one home run in the first, was replaced with reliever Dan Otero. Otero duplicated Milone’s success with a shutout inning of his own.
The problems started when Oakland A’s reliever Fernando Abad came into the game and let two White Sox reach on singles. With two on base and only one out, manager Bob Melvin took Abad out and put in the reliable right hander Luke Gregerson. Gregerson walked up to the mound to face Jose Abreu – the rookie sensation from Cuba.
Even though Abreu was unable to hit any of the inside fastballs that came his way during his first three at-bats, Gregerson left a fastball hanging over the middle of the plate and Abreu crushed it. It was a three run home run for Abreu and a two run lead for the White Sox. The A’s could not overcome the run deficit and only mustered a walk and a hit in the ninth inning before a double play and a flyout to center ended the game.
Even though the A’s bullpen was shaky today, they still have the second lowest overall in ERA the MLB with a 2.36 and are the only team to in the AL whose bullpen has a sub-3.00 ERA. The Oakland bats are not doing too bad either. The Athletics are second overall in the MLB for runs with 203. Additionally, the Oakland A’s continue to lead the AL west by three games.
It is unfortunate that the Athletics had to end their time at home with a loss. They now head out for a nine game road trip where they will face the Cleveland Indians, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Toronto Blue Jays. This is the third time this season the Athletics will face three teams on the road. However, the Athletics do have a winning record on the road with 13 wins and only 6 losses. Let’s hope that the Oakland A’s can put Wednesday’s game behind them and start anew against the Indians on Friday.