OAKLAND, Calif. -- So much is made about having momentum before the mighty Yankees come to town.
The Oakland Athletics don't care who's arriving next -- they never want to be swept.
"Especially at home," second baseman Mark Ellis said.
Ellis lined a home run just over the left-field wall with two outs in the ninth inning and the A's avoided a three-game sweep with a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
Ellis hit his third career game-winning homer and first since June 8 last year against the Angels off Bobby Jenks (2-4), who had previously posted five straight scoreless outings. Ellis is batting .431 with 19 RBI in August.
Ellis also had a sacrifice fly in the seventh for Oakland, which sported royal blue and white replica throwback uniforms for a turn-back-the-clock themed day reminiscent of the 1929 world champion Philadelphia A's for the 80th anniversary year.
The A's rallied after missing early chances when they grounded into inning-ending double plays in the first two innings.
"Being swept would have been tough," Ellis said. "We're starting to play better baseball, starting to play more exciting baseball."
Scott Podsednik broke up a scoreless game with an RBI triple in the sixth for the White Sox and Jim Thome had a sacrifice fly three batters later. Chicago looked poised for its first three-game sweep in Oakland in 12 years.
"We won the series and that's what we want to do," said Mark Kotsay, a former fan favorite while with the A's. "It would be nice to win all of them but sweeping a series is not easy to do."
White Sox starter John Danks, who was trying for back-to-back victories for the first time since May 20 and 25, allowed a one-out double to Rajai Davis in the eighth and then gave way to Dotel. Kurt Suzuki fouled out before Hairston's double.
"These losses obviously hurt and they stick in your mind for a while," White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen said. "But as soon as we hit the field again we'll be fine. You just can't carry one day to the next."
A's rookie Trevor Cahill avoided losing his fifth straight start and hung tough in this pitcher's duel. He has received run support of two or fewer runs in 13 of his 25 starts and is 0-8 in those outings.
Oakland now starts a three-game series with New York Yankees on Monday night on a bit of an upswing. The A's will call up recently signed right-hander Brett Tomko to start Monday and push Vin Mazzaro back to Tuesday because Justin Duchscherer isn't ready to make his season debut.
"It's not baseball related," assistant general manager David Forst said of Duchscherer, a two-time All-Star recovering from March elbow surgery.
Kotsay doubled among his two hits and scored a run for the White Sox. The White Sox had their four-game winning streak at the Coliseum snapped, its longest since a five-game run here from Aug. 1, 1996 to Aug. 5, 1997.
Oakland manager Bob Geren sported a navy blue pinstripe suit, paisley tie and felt hat before the game - even wearing the spiffy outfit for the exchange of lineups just before first pitch.
Back in uniform, Geren was ejected in the ninth by second base umpire Gary Darling for arguing a stolen base by Jayson Nix.
"I'm not wearing no suit," Guillen said before the game. "I love old-school games. Nice idea."
Chicago general manager Kenny Williams sure was hoping to see Guillen all dressed up.
"I would have paid money," Williams said. "We were all trying. I would have gone down and paid him myself."
Even the fans got into it.
"The hat has to go, Bob," one woman yelled at Geren. "Connie Mack wore a straw hat."
- Davis extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games with a sixth-inning single. He also stole his 24th base.
- Slumping White Sox OF Carlos Quentin -- 1 for 15 over his three previous games -- had the day off. With the recent addition of Alex Rios, Guillen has plenty of OFs to choose from. "It's a headache. It's a good one," the skipper said.
- The A's lead the season series 4-3 with two more meetings next month in Chicago.
- Public address announcer Dick Callahan worked from the field level. The Coliseum became Shibe Park for a day and old cars came around the warning track before the game.