Chicago at Oakland

W: J. Blanton (10-8) L: M. Buehrle (9-8)
S: H. Street (10)
HR: CHW - None   OAK - K. Suzuki (3)

Athletics 3, White Sox 2

CBS wire reports

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Mike Piazza moved down a spot to fifth in the order for the first time all season, and it worked out well for the Oakland Athletics.

So did going to closer Huston Street in the ninth inning.

Piazza broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the fourth and Kurt Suzuki hit a two-run homer, leading the A's past the stumbling Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Wednesday night.

But seeing Street save a game while pitching for the third day in a row was perhaps the biggest deal for Oakland in its latest victory.

The 2005 AL Rookie of the Year struck out the side in order for his first save since May 6 at Tampa Bay and 10th save in 12 chances overall. He was on the disabled list from May 15 to July 23 with nerve irritation in his right elbow.

It didn't matter that he used what he described as "a spinning slider" to retire pinch-hitter Jim Thome on a 3-2 pitch to end it. He also threw a 1-2 changeup that he called his best such pitch of the season.

"It can't go better any time when you strike out the side," Street said of his 12th outing since coming off the DL. "I'll take it."

Joe Blanton won his second consecutive decision with just his second victory in his last eight starts for the defending AL West champion A's, who have their first three-game winning streak since June 13-15 during interleague play.

Blanton (10-8) struck out five and didn't walk a batter in seven scoreless innings. He allowed five hits.

Jack Hannahan doubled for his first major league hit leading off the bottom of the fifth for Oakland. Acquired in a minor league trade with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, Hannahan had been 0-for-13 in his previous big league at-bats.

Mark Buehrle didn't allow a hit until Nick Swisher's one-out double down the left-field line in the fourth, but the Chicago offense couldn't do much as the White Sox went on to their fourth consecutive defeat.

The struggling Piazza singled in Swisher two batters later, just the second hit in 20 at-bats for the designated hitter. Piazza has 44 starts in the cleanup hole and two in the third spot this season, his first with Oakland.

"It worked out all right," said Piazza, who like Street is still finding his rhythm after a long DL stint. "I could get better swings. But we're playing well. I've had some quality at-bats in good situations."

Chicago's four-game road winning streak ended with a 4-3 loss Tuesday night. The club is trying to win the season series against the A's for the first time since going 6-3 in 2000, but will have to take the series finale Thursday to do so. The teams are even at 4-4 this year.

"Another day in the Coliseum," White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen said. "Every time we come here I feel like we're facing Cy Young, (Johan) Santana, (Roger) Clemens and Nolan Ryan all together. Every time we come here our offense struggles to get big hits and get going."

Buehrle (9-8) cruised until the fourth, then faced trouble in each inning the rest of the way. The left-hander gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked three.

Blanton had dropped four decisions in a row before winning his last two. He won consecutive decisions for the first time since getting three in a row from June 13 to July 3.

His bullpen nearly blew this opportunity.

Alan Embree allowed a one-out triple to Jerry Owens and then Josh Fields' sacrifice fly one batter later in the eighth. After Jermaine Dye's single, Paul Konerko followed with an RBI double before Darin Erstad grounded out to end the inning.

Then Street took care of the rest.

He had been asking manager Bob Geren when he might return to using him in the ninth inning. The skipper asked him if he was OK to pitch for the third game in a row, and Street was more than willing to do it.

"I'm sore, man," Street said. "Three days in a row, it's the first time in three months for that. It's just good to be out there. A one-run game and three days in a row, that's pretty much the ultimate test after 2½ months. It's been a long time. I've been waiting for it. There's still going to be a little bit of a transition period."

Chicago closer Bobby Jenks was available to pitch after being held out Tuesday night, a day after tweaking his right ankle while walking his dog at home during Monday's off day.

On Sunday, Jenks broke David Wells' American League record and tied the major league record of 41 consecutive batters retired. Jim Barr also set down 41 in a row for San Francisco in 1972.


The A's are 10-5 over their last 15 games and are now 59-62. ... Owens stole his 17th base in the first. ... Of the White Sox's four losses in a row, three have been by one run. Chicago has dropped three consecutive series.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

J. Owens
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

J. Blanton
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 0
K 5

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April 21, 2017
This weekend in baseball: AL Central (1:19)
Chicago White Sox
Jerry Owens, CF4120000 .256
Josh Fields, 3B3021011 .257
Jermaine Dye, RF4110013 .245
Paul Konerko, DH4021001 .266
    Alex Cintron, PR-DH0000000 .219
Darin Erstad, 1B4000013 .258
Juan Uribe, SS4010020 .228
Scott Podsednik, LF3000010 .257
Toby Hall, C3000001 .221
   a- Jim Thome, PH1000010 .260
Danny Richar, 2B3000020 .162
a-struck out for Hall in the 9th
2B - Paul Konerko (28, Embree)
3B - Jerry Owens (1, Embree)
SF - Josh Fields (1)
SH - Scott Podsednik (2)
RBI - Josh Fields (41), Paul Konerko (66)
2-OUT RBI - Paul Konerko (23)
SB - Jerry Owens (17, 2nd base off Blanton/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 6
E - Scott Podsednik (4, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago White Sox
Mark Buehrle (L,9-8) 7733341 3.36
Ehren Wassermann 1000000 3.18
IBB - Swisher by Mark Buehrle
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Buehrle 112-68, Ehren Wassermann 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Buehrle 10-7, Ehren Wassermann 1-2
Batters Faced - Mark Buehrle 31, Ehren Wassermann 3
Oakland Athletics
Travis Buck, CF4020010 .292
Shannon Stewart, LF4000001 .300
Nick Swisher, 1B2110202 .253
Jack Cust, RF3000113 .270
Mike Piazza, DH4011000 .270
Mark Ellis, 2B4000012 .260
Donnie Murphy, SS4110012 .228
Jack Hannahan, 3B2010000 .200
Kurt Suzuki, C3112001 .245
2B - Travis Buck (21, Buehrle), Nick Swisher (24, Buehrle), Donnie Murphy (8, Buehrle), Jack Hannahan (1, Buehrle)
HR - Kurt Suzuki (3, Buehrle)
SH - Jack Hannahan (1)
RBI - Mike Piazza (25), Kurt Suzuki 2 (13)
Team LOB - 7
Oakland Athletics
Joe Blanton (W,10-8) 7500050 3.94
Alan Embree (H,9) 1322010 3.67
Huston Street (S,10) 1000030 2.73
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 100-70, Alan Embree 26-16, Huston Street 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 12-4, Alan Embree 1-1
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 26, Alan Embree 6, Huston Street 3
Game Information
Attendance - 25295
Game Time - 2:14
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Bruce Dreckman, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Larry Poncino, Third Base - Jerry Meals