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Athletics hold off White Sox after Chavez pitches gem

CBSSports.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- One after another, the starting pitchers for the Oakland Athletics are shutting down opponents and making up for most of the club's shortcomings.

Especially the back of the bullpen.

Jesse Chavez struck out seven and came up an inning short of his first complete game, and the A's held on to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Monday night for their season-high fifth consecutive victory.

"We all feed off of each other," Chavez said. "And I think that's what makes a good staff."

Chavez (3-1) gave up five hits and walked two for the AL-West leading A's, who have outscored opponents 28-8 during the winning streak. The former reliever allowed only solo home runs to Dayan Viciedo and Jose Abreu, whose major-league leading 14th long ball in the ninth chased the right-hander.

Josh Donaldson hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth, and Josh Reddick hit a tying triple in the second off John Danks (3-3) during Oakland's victory. Jed Lowrie added a two-run double in the seventh that proved pivotal after the White Sox scored three runs in the ninth and nearly forced extra innings.

Left-hander Sean Doolittle recorded the final three outs, striking out pinch-hitter Tyler Flowers and Leury Garcia to strand the tying runner on second.

"Didn't want it to get to that point, but that's how it got there," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

Danks gave up six hits and three runs in six innings, striking out five and walking two. Chicago, which has lost four of five, came up just short and too late.

"It wasn't a lack of trying. Sometimes you hit it and it's right at people," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who was agitated after a 5-1 home loss to Arizona on Sunday, calling it "uninspired" effort.

After Abreu's home run, Fernando Abad walked Adam Dunn. Then struggling Jim Johnson gave up a double to Viciedo and an RBI single to Alexei Ramirez, setting off another shower of boos.

Pinch-hitter Paul Konerko's sacrifice fly sliced Oakland's lead to 5-4 before Doolittle struck out the final two batters for his second save this season.

"I think it was important for me tonight not getting caught up in the moment of trying to get the save and stop the bleeding," Doolittle said.

The AL-West leading A's, coming off a home sweep of Washington, added another layer of frustration for a Chicago team beginning a nine-game road trip that also stops in Houston and Kansas City.

The White Sox spent about eight hours on a plane Sunday night because of storms in Chicago that delayed their flight to the Bay Area, then they played a late game on the West Coast.

They still started strong but wasted an opportunity to retake the lead when they advanced runners to second and third on Chavez's wild pitch in the fifth. Conor Gillaspie hit a hard line drive with two outs -- but right into center fielder Craig Gentry's glove.

Then came Donaldson's drive in the fifth, lining a 2-0 fastball into the seats in left for his eighth home run. Lowrie added a two-run double off reliever Daniel Webb in the seventh to stretch Oakland's lead to 5-1.

Chavez kept inducing quick outs and nearly finished the game himself. He had never completed more than seven innings, which he has done three times this year.

Chavez has allowed one earned run or fewer in six of his eight starts this season. The A's are 7-1 when he pitches.

"We faced him in the spring. He's good," Dunn said. "He's going to be around the strike zone. When a guy has that many pitches, you try to get him early. It didn't work out."

Notes

Athletics CF Coco Crisp took swings in batting practice before sitting out for the fifth consecutive game with a strained neck. He is day to day. ... White Sox LHP Chris Sale, out since April 17 because of a strained muscle near his left elbow, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment in Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday. ... LHP Drew Pomeranz (2-1, 1.45 ERA) makes his second start for the A's opposite Chicago's Scott Carroll on Tuesday.

 
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In his 10th career start, Jesse Chavez goes into the ninth inning and allows two runs on five hits, while striking out seven.  (USATSI)
In his 10th career start, Jesse Chavez goes into the ninth inning and allows two runs on five hits, while striking out seven. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Oakland

J. Chavez
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 2
K 7
Chicago

D. Viciedo
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Leury Garcia, CF5000012 .216
Gordon Beckham, 2B3010110 .254
Conor Gillaspie, 3B4010003 .304
Jose Abreu, DH4111021 .272
Adam Dunn, 1B2000200 .243
   Moises Sierra, PR0100000 .179
Dayan Viciedo, RF4221021 .303
Alexei Ramirez, SS4011001 .331
Alejandro De Aza, LF3000010 .190
   a-Paul Konerko, PH0001000 .250
Adrian Nieto, C3010010 .258
   b-Tyler Flowers, PH1000011 .321
John Danks, P0000000 .000
   Daniel Webb, P0000000 .000
   Scott Downs, P0000000 .000
Totals3347439  
a-hit a sacrifice fly for De Aza in the 9th
b-struck out for Nieto in the 9th
Batting
2B - Gordon Beckham (3, J. Chavez), Dayan Viciedo (12, Johnson)
HR - Jose Abreu (14, J. Chavez), Dayan Viciedo (3, J. Chavez)
SF - Paul Konerko (2)
RBI - Jose Abreu (38), Dayan Viciedo (14), Alexei Ramirez (27), Paul Konerko (8)
SB - Alexei Ramirez (7, 2nd base off Doolittle/Norris)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Dunn, Dunn-Beckham-A. Ramirez-Dunn
Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
John Danks (L,3-3) 6633251 4.88
Daniel Webb 1222410 3.00
Scott Downs 1000120 4.70
WP - Daniel Webb 3 (3)
Pitches-Strikes - John Danks 116-73, Daniel Webb 29-10, Scott Downs 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Danks 6-6, Daniel Webb 1-0, Scott Downs 1-0
Batters Faced - John Danks 25, Daniel Webb 8, Scott Downs 4
Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Craig Gentry, CF4110115 .282
Jed Lowrie, SS4012012 .260
Josh Donaldson, 3B3112100 .261
Yoenis Cespedes, LF4010011 .258
Derek Norris, C3000112 .370
Alberto Callaspo, DH2010200 .246
Brandon Moss, 1B4010024 .273
Nick Punto, 2B3100112 .214
Josh Reddick, RF3221113 .226
Jesse Chavez, P0000000 .000
   Fernando Abad, P0000000 .000
   Jim Johnson, P0000000 .000
   Sean Doolittle, P0000000 .000
Totals3058578  
Batting
2B - Jed Lowrie (13, Webb)
3B - Josh Reddick (3, Danks)
HR - Josh Donaldson (8, Danks)
RBI - Jed Lowrie 2 (16), Josh Donaldson 2 (27), Josh Reddick (10)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Donaldson 2 (6), Josh Reddick (3)
Team LOB - 8
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jesse Chavez (W,3-1) 8522272 2.44
Fernando Abad 0011100 1.23
Jim Johnson 0211000 4.96
Sean Doolittle (S,2) 1000020 3.60
WP - Jesse Chavez (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Jesse Chavez 93-68, Fernando Abad 6-2, Jim Johnson 6-4, Sean Doolittle 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jesse Chavez 7-10
Batters Faced - Jesse Chavez 31, Fernando Abad 1, Jim Johnson 2, Sean Doolittle 3
Game Information
Attendance - 10120
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Manny Gonzalez, Third Base - Seth Buckminster