The Oakland Athletics (23-63) had an extraordinary chance to sweep their first home series since Oct. 2022 but they failed to achieve the feat falling 8-7 to the Chicago White Sox (37-49) in the third and final game between both teams to cap the weekend.
The A's, truth be told, were never close to beating the South Siders for a third time in a row on Sunday. They needed to come back twice after falling down 5-0 through the first three innings and 8-3 when the seventh frame was over.
That said, the A's put on a valiant effort to close the game and they fell just one single run short of pulling off the miraculous feat of dragging Sunday's series finale into extra innings, such as they did on Saturday when Tyler Wade dived head first to give Oakland their second win in a row.
As you see, Wade kept showing his athleticism (no pun intended) in what looked like a bright start for the A's on Sunday's matinee. The good vibes would last a few innings, as Paul Blackburn (1-1) got the call to get things started and he was good enough to keep the Sox at bay heading into the third frame.
That was it for the 2022 All-Star, though, as he got molly-rocked by Chicago in the third inning to the tune of five runs. All in all, Blackburn completed a five-inning outing in which he allowed six hits also walking four men and striking out five. It wasn't horrible, per se, but it was far from great.
A phenomenal third inning was all Chicago needed to wrap up the game, or at least get close to that. There were passed balls, singles, walks, and batters hit by Blackburn's pitches, and the only thing missing was probably a homer getting hit past the fences of the Coliseum. Not that the White Sox ever needed it...
The A's lost no time in trying to chase their opponents adding their first two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Tony Kemp kept his hitting streak going with a single scoring Conner Capel, and later stealing second base. Ryan Noda walked, a pitch hit JJ Bleday, and with two RISP, Seth Brown walked forcing Kemp in and making it 5-2.
Oakland was able to add another run in the fifth inning with Bleday hitting a double and bringing Noda home. That made it 5-3 and gave your superheroes hope...
...until the game entered the sixth and seventh frames with a two-run difference but exited that span with Chicago up 8-3 over Oakland. Ugh.
The man of the day, A's outfielder and designated hitter Brent Rooker--who was pinch-hitting on Sunday and was named the A's representative for next week's All-Star Game just a couple hours before yesterday's matinee--hit a solid homer (14th this season for him) scoring Shea Langeliers and making the affair a close 8-5 one.
That would be the case again in the ninth inning, with the A's cutting the Sox lead down to just one run after Kemp singled again and JJ Bleday followed with a two-out double and Brownie with a two-out single scoring the aforementioned two.
Too bad for your lads, Jace Peterson hit a lineout to right field that Clint Frazier had no problem catching, ending the dream in time for the White Sox to escape a sweep and a nightmarish weekend just ahead of the July 4th holiday.
Aaron Bummer (3-1) earned the win pitching just 2.1 innings of one-run, two-hit baseball following Touki Toussaint's start (he lasted 3.2 innings allowing two runs on three hits while striking out five). Gregory Santos saved the day for the Sox, though it took him a sweat or two as he allowed a couple of runs on three hits K'ing just one batter.
The A's are off on Monday and they'll kick things off again on Tuesday with back-to-back series on the road facing Detroit first and Boston later this week.