CHICAGO (AP) – The way they have struggled on the road, the Oakland Athletics sure were glad to sweep a three-game series – even if they did it against a rebuilding team.
Sonny Gray pitched four-hit ball over seven innings , Adam Rosales and Matt Joyce hit back-to-back homers in the ninth, and the Athletics rallied to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3 on Sunday.
“It’s no secret we struggle on the road,” Gray said. “Guys in the clubhouse are aware. We’re smarter than a lot of people think sometimes. We know what’s going on.”
The Athletics improved to 12-25 away from home after outscoring Chicago 18-5 in a three-game sweep. But the schedule takes another tough turn when the Athletics open a three-game series Tuesday at AL West leader Houston – the same team that just swept four in Oakland.
Gray (3-3) picked up his first win since May 24. Chicago native Rosales and Joyce broke it open with their drives against David Robertson and Chris Beck to start the ninth, and Oakland completed the three-game sweep after getting dominated by Derek Holland.
The White Sox were rolling along with a 2-0 lead after Adam Engel hit his first career homer and Jose Abreu doubled and scored.
But things started to turn in the seventh.
Yonder Alonso chased Holland with a leadoff single, and the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.
“Those guys have picked me up before,” Holland said.
Not this time, though.
Alonso scored on a two-out double by pinch hitter Jed Lowrie against Dan Jennings.
Oakland grabbed a 3-2 lead in the eighth on RBI singles by Khris Davis and Alonso against Tommy Kahnle (0-2) and Robertson.
“We were basically stagnant for a good portion of the game today and not even getting good at bats, let alone opportunities,” manager Bob Melvin said. “And then all of a sudden the good at-bats came, kept fighting back, got ourselves in a position, and it seems like from the sixth inning on the at-bats were completely different than the first half of the game.”
Gray struck out seven and walked one after going 0-2 in his previous five starts.
Santiago Casilla gave up a leadoff homer to Melky Cabrera in the ninth but earned his 13th save in 16 chances.
Holland held Oakland to one run and four hits and exited to loud cheers with a 2-0 lead. Manager Rick Renteria stayed in this one after back-to-back ejections, but the White Sox lost for the sixth time in seven games. They also fell a season-high 10 games below .500 at 32-42.
“Our bullpen has done a great job,” Renteria said. “It really had.”
BREWERS CLAIM VOGT
The Milwaukee Brewers claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from Oakland on Sunday. The Athletics designated the two-time All-Star for assignment on Thursday.
Athletics: SS Marcus Semien, on the DL since April 16 (right wrist fracture and surgery) homered and had three hits Saturday in his second rehab game with High-A Stockton. “We want to make sure we don’t overwork the wrist,” Melvin said. … Melvin said 3B Matt Chapman, on the 10-day DL with bacterial skin infection on his left knee, was being released from the hospital on Sunday. … Lowrie was out of the lineup for the second straight game because of a minor knee injury. He said he’s not sure if he’ll see a doctor.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon has rejoined the Chicago White Sox and is ready to make his first start of the season after being sidelined because of bursitis in his left biceps. Manager Rick Renteria says a return date is not set, though Rodon will start on the current homestand. He threw 4 1/3 innings for Triple-A Charlotte on Friday. … Beck left with a bruised left hamstring after getting hit by Davis’ comebacker and is day to day.
Athletics: Oakland sends LHP Sean Manaea (6-4, 4.05 ERA) to the mound against Houston on Tuesday, while RHP Mike Fiers (5-2, 3.81) goes for the Astros.
White Sox: Chicago opens a four-game series against the Yankees, with RHP David Holmberg (1-1, 2.84) starting for the White Sox and LHP Jordan Montgomery (5-4, 3.74) pitching for the Yankees.
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