Oakland Athletics infielder Franklin Barreto seems to enjoy hitting at Guaranteed Rate Field, as he returned to the site of his first career home run and hit a pair of three-run jacks in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader.
The A’s won the first game the twin bill behind Barreto, defeating the host Chicago White Sox 11-2. Sloppy play, though, undid Oakland in the second game as the South Siders took the nightcap 6-4 to split the twin bill.
At the age of 22 years, 115 days, Barreto became the youngest A’s player since at least 1908 to drive in six or more runs in a game. The previous youngest was Jimmie Foxx on May 22, 1930 (22 years, 212 days). He also became the youngest A’s player with a two-homer game, tying Ben Grieve, who turned the trick on June 16, 1998 at the age of 22 years and 115 days.
Facing James Shields, the pitcher who served up his first career home run just over a year ago, Barreto launched a three-run shot to put the A’s up 4-0 in the first game, which would be far more offense than Sean Manaea would need. The lefty allowed just one run over seven innings on five hits, striking out seven without issuing a walk.
The A’s would pull away in the fifth inning, with Jed Lowrie singling home a run and Khris Davis bringing in a pair. Mark Canha struck out for what should have been the final out of the inning, but the ball eluded White Sox catcher Kevan Smith and brought home yet another run. It was one of six unearned runs scored against Shields, who suffered from a pair of Yoan Moncada errors. All four runs in the second inning were unearned as Moncada botched a Matt Olson grounder to start the rally.
It was the A’s who made the critical error in the second game. Trailing 3-2 in the sixth, Oakland starter Chris Bassitt induced what should have been an inning-ending double play ball from Tim Anderson, but Marcus Semien booted it. Danny Coulombe, recalled as the 26th man, came on in relief of Bassitt to face a lefty-heavy part of the order, but Omar Narvaez loaded the bases with his third hit of the night, setting the table for Adam Engel to bring home two with a single.
Oakland (39-37) had a golden opportunity in the eighth, with a Davis single bringing home two and putting men on the corners with nobody out, but Xavier Cedeno came in and escaped the jam. He got Olson to line out, struck out Canha and got Chad Pinder to ground into a force out to end the threat. Anderson would hit an insurance homer off Yusmeiro Petit in the bottom of the eighth, and Joakim Soria would take care of the ninth for his 11th save of the year.
Chicago (25-50) scored three off Bassitt in the bottom of the second with a two-run Narvaez single and a Charlie Tilson single. Olson drove in the game’s first run with a two-out single in the first and brought the A’s within 3-2 by hitting a solo shot off Lucas Giolito in the sixth. Giolito, who had entered the game with a 7.19 ERA and had struggled with command all year, walked both Matt Joyce and Davis with two outs in the first but didn’t allow any other free passes. He went seven innings, allowing seven hits and striking out eight.