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|Oakland (10-10) «||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||5||12||2|
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Yoenis Cespedes' timely hitting decided countless games at every level of baseball back home in Cuba.
Doing it at as a first-year major leaguer means so much to the young Oakland Athletics.
With two of the American League's top pitching teams dueling it out for a third straight day, Kila Ka'aihue blooped a winning single in the 14th inning soon after Cespedes' tying two-run homer, and the A's rallied past the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Wednesday.
"Yoenis is coming up in that situation and he's grinding hard every pitch, every out," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "[It was] more perseverance than anything else, because it seemed like in the middle of the game nobody was going to score for a while."
He was right. Both clubs missed chances and the game kept going.
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Josh Reddick hit a one-out single in the 14th, then Cespedes delivered his fifth homer of the season against Hector Santiago (0-1) after Chicago took the lead in the top half of the 14th. Ka'aihue came through with the big hit in a game that lasted 3 hours, 56 minutes.
"You relish that, you look forward to it when you're taking your BP and your work," Ka'aihue said. "You prepare to get that big hit. You don't work on grounding out and flying out. It wasn't the hardest ball I've hit in my life. It won the game for the team, that's all that counts."
Alexei Ramirez hit a go-ahead two-run double with two outs in the top of the 14th.
Paul Konerko hit his 400th career home run to tie the game at 2 in the Chicago ninth.
The round numbers, everybody likes the round numbers. When it comes to that kind of stuff, I think when I'm done playing and look back, that's when it might hit home more.
The game featured Take Me Out to the Ball Game twice, along with a 14th-inning stretch.
After a pair of gems from Chicago starters this trip -- Philip Humber's perfect game Saturday at Seattle, then Jake Peavy's three-hit shutout Monday -- this day became about the terrific White Sox bullpen until Oakland finally got to the relievers.
Konerko sent the first pitch from A's closer Grant Balfour onto the left-field steps to start the ninth. Konerko became the fourth player in White Sox franchise history to reach the 400 mark, joining Frank Thomas, Jim Thome and Andruw Jones.
"Everybody likes the round numbers," Konerko said. "When it comes to that kind of stuff, I think when I'm done playing and look back, that's when it might hit home more. But when you're in the middle of the grind and you're grinding every day and working, you tend not to think about that stuff, and you probably shouldn't."
It looked as if the White Sox would take this one after scoring two unearned runs in the top of the 14th.
But Cespedes showed why the A's gave him a $36 million, four-year contract.
"I was lucky enough to hit home runs to decide games. This was not the first time," Cespedes said. "The team is a very young team, but the way we play together we're going to get very far this season."
Dayan Viciedo reached on third baseman Eric Sogard's fielding error and Brent Morel sacrificed him to second. Eduardo Escobar flied out and Alejandro De Aza walked before Miller relieved Jerry Blevins to face Ramirez.
The A's saved themselves in the 13th with a two pretty defensive plays. Catcher Kurt Suzuki caught pinch-runner Lillibridge well off second base, then shortstop Cliff Pennington chased down Alex Rios' double that skipped into the Oakland bullpen and made a quick throw to Sogard, who then relayed to Suzuki just in time to get a sliding Gordon Beckham.
Konerko's fourth homer of the year spoiled an impressive A's debut by Jarrod Parker, who struck out five in 6 1/3 innings following his call-up from Triple-A Sacramento.
Home plate umpire Jerry Layne took a foul from Escobar off the left shoulder in the fifth and was briefly examined by the A's training staff before staying in the game. Layne returned to the box and playfully grabbed Escobar's bat and jokingly pretending to swing it.
|Kila Ka'aihue gets mobbed by a jubilant Jemile Weeks after his game-winning hit in the 14th against the White Sox. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Chicago White Sox|
|Alejandro De Aza, CF||5||1||1||0||2||2||2||.261|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS||6||0||1||2||0||0||3||.225|
|Adam Dunn, 1B||6||0||1||0||0||2||2||.239|
|Brent Lillibridge, PR-1B||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.167|
|Paul Konerko, DH||5||1||3||1||1||0||1||.357|
|Gordon Beckham, PR-DH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.180|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||6||0||2||0||0||0||2||.339|
|Alex Rios, RF||5||1||3||0||1||1||1||.362|
|Kosuke Fukudome, LF||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||.238|
|a- Dayan Viciedo, PH-LF||2||1||0||0||0||1||2||.173|
|Brent Morel, 3B||4||0||1||0||1||3||2||.177|
|Eduardo Escobar, 2B||5||0||0||0||1||1||3||.125|
|a-struck out for Fukudome in the 11th|
|2B - Alejandro De Aza (4, Parker), Alexei Ramirez (2, Miller), Adam Dunn (7, Blevins), Alex Rios 2 (5, Parker, Blevins), Kosuke Fukudome (1, Parker)|
|HR - Paul Konerko (4, Balfour)|
|SH - Alexei Ramirez (2), Brent Morel (4)|
|RBI - Alexei Ramirez 2 (6), Paul Konerko (13), Kosuke Fukudome (3)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alexei Ramirez 2 (4)|
|CS - Kosuke Fukudome (1, Home by Cook/Suzuki)|
|PK - Brent Lillibridge (1, Blevins)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Hector Santiago (BS,2; L,0-1)||0.1||5||3||3||0||1||1||8.53|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chris Sale 101-71, Addison Reed 16-10, Matt Thornton 15-9, Will Ohman 13-8, Nate Jones 23-15, Hector Santiago 21-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Sale 4-14, Will Ohman 1-2, Nate Jones 1-5|
|Batters Faced - Chris Sale 29, Addison Reed 4, Matt Thornton 3, Will Ohman 3, Nate Jones 7, Hector Santiago 6|
|Jemile Weeks, 2B||6||1||1||0||0||1||0||.200|
|Eric Sogard, 3B||6||0||0||0||0||2||1||.154|
|Josh Reddick, RF||6||2||2||1||0||1||0||.244|
|Yoenis Cespedes, CF||5||1||3||3||1||0||0||.269|
|Jonny Gomes, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.206|
|a- Seth Smith, PH-LF||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Kurt Suzuki, C||6||0||3||0||0||2||1||.227|
|Kila Ka'aihue, DH||6||0||2||1||0||1||1||.333|
|Cliff Pennington, SS||5||0||0||0||0||1||2||.197|
|Daric Barton, 1B||5||0||0||0||0||1||0||.182|
|a-flied out for Gomes in the 12th|
|2B - Josh Reddick (6, Sale)|
|HR - Yoenis Cespedes (5, Santiago)|
|RBI - Josh Reddick (4), Yoenis Cespedes 3 (18), Kila Ka'aihue (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Josh Reddick (3), Yoenis Cespedes (8)|
|CS - Yoenis Cespedes (2, 2nd base by Sale/Pierzynski)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Barton-Pennington-Parker|
|E - Jordan Norberto (1, Throwing), Eric Sogard (2, Misplayed grounder)|
|Ryan Cook (H,5)||1.2||0||0||0||1||2||0||0.00|
|Grant Balfour (BS,1)||1||1||1||1||0||1||1||1.50|
|Jim Miller (W,1-0)||0.1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
|IBB - Rios by Jordan Norberto, Konerko by Jerry Blevins|
|WP - Ryan Cook (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jarrod Parker 99-62, Ryan Cook 21-13, Grant Balfour 13-7, Brian Fuentes 10-7, Jordan Norberto 36-20, Jerry Blevins 24-10, Jim Miller 7-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jarrod Parker 7-5, Ryan Cook 1-1, Brian Fuentes 2-1, Jerry Blevins 2-2|
|Batters Faced - Jarrod Parker 25, Ryan Cook 5, Grant Balfour 4, Brian Fuentes 4, Jordan Norberto 9, Jerry Blevins 8, Jim Miller 2|
|Attendance - 13032|
|Game Time - 3:56|
|Temperature - 63|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Dan Bellino|