OAKLAND — The Chicago White Sox are finding a swagger they fully expected earlier this season, only to endure a five-game losing streak in late April and into May and then some necessary self-assessment.
Melky Cabrera hit a go-ahead single in the seventh inning after yet another costly error by Oakland, and the White Sox rallied for the second straight night to beat the Athletics 4-3 on Saturday for their fourth straight win.
“They're not throwing parties in here,” manager Robin Ventura said. “This is what they thought they would be like.”
Avisail Garcia hit a tying two-run single in the third on a nine-pitch at-bat to back John Danks (2-3). He struck out six in seven innings and won on the road for the first time in four tries.
Danks made some adjustments to his delivery to be more consistent and not speed himself up when things get dicey.
“I've been hit around before,” he said. “Hopefully get on a nice extended streak here and help us win some ballgames.”
Chicago used a five-run seventh a night earlier to rally from a 6-2 deficit to win, then won Saturday for the eighth time in 11 games.
The A's committed an error in their 13th straight game, the longest streak for the franchise since 13 in a row from April 7-21, 1983. Reliever Fernando Rodriguez (0-1) threw wildly into right field for a two-base error to put Adam Eaton on third after his bunt single. Cabrera knocked him home moments later.
“It's typically a play or two late in the game,” A's manager Bob Melvin said. “Tonight it's two outs, no one on, a bunt to the pitcher and all we have to do is throw to first. We throw it away and the inning gets away from us.”
Jose Abreu, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a two-out single in the first, followed with an RBI double. It was the 37th run allowed by Oakland in the seventh inning this season.
Chicago used four pitchers to get through a rocky eighth. Zach Duke allowed a run before Jake Petricka gave up Billy Butler's single to put the tying run aboard. Stephen Vogt singled off Dan Jennings, then David Robertson entered and got Brett Lawrie to line out.
Robertson finished 1 1/3 perfect innings for his eighth save and sixth career scoreless appearance at the Coliseum.
Butler hit a two-run homer in the first for the A's, who squandered a lead for the second straight night in losing their third straight game and ninth in 10. They fell to 1-13 in one-run games, and six of the last eight and nine of 12 have played have been decided by a run.
“I've seen more Billy Butler than I care to,” Danks said of the former Royals designated hitter.
Yet with the way Chicago's hitters are coming through, Danks noted “there's no need to panic with this team.”
Oakland's majors-leading 38 errors have led to 27 unearned runs, also most in the big leagues.
Adam LaRoche singled to start the sixth and advanced into scoring position on a pair of wild pitches. But A's starter Jesse Chavez got out of it thanks to a second straight inning-ending double play.
Chavez, who began the season in the bullpen, allowed eight hits and two runs in six innings and has only one win in five starts since joining the rotation April 23.
White Sox: Robertson was available following a day off Friday after he had pitched in four of the previous five games.
Athletics: Utilityman Ben Zobrist, working back from left knee surgery, is scheduled to run the bases Sunday. He will likely do so again before heading on a rehab assignment Tuesday or Wednesday. He will likely play a couple of games each in the outfield and infield, and perhaps one at DH. If all goes well he could be activated once Oakland returns from its next road trip. … Reliever Eric O'Flaherty (strained left shoulder) “felt good” in his first throwing session Friday, manager Bob Melvin said.
White Sox: Right-hander Jeff Samardzija was traded to the A's on July 4 last year from the Cubs, then Oakland sent him back to the other Chicago team in a trade five months later. Samardzija (2-2, 4.38 ERA) will face the A's on Sunday for the first time. He went 5-6 in 16 starts for his old team in 2014.
Athletics: LHP Scott Kazmir looks for his first May victory after going 0-1 over his first three outings this month. He is 3-6 with a 5.35 ERA in 12 starts against Chicago.