When the Athletics put three on the board in the first inning Wednesday courtesy of a couple of RBI doubles from Mike Piazza and Eric Chavez, things looked pretty grim for the visiting Sox.
The South Siders managed a run in the second when Juan Uribe–who’s started strong this season, surprisingly–singled to bring in Jermaine Dye. But the Sox struggled through the next four innings with Joe Kennedy on the mound for Oakland.
Then the A’s bullpen came into the game.
After shuffling indecisively through Kiko Calero and Jay Marshall in the sixth and seventh innings, Oakland brought out reliever Justin Duchscherer, who gave up a two-run homer to Sox slugger Jermaine Dye in the eighth to tie the game at three all.
Things only got better for the Sox after that. Athletics closer Huston Street came in at the top of the ninth, and promptly gave up a single to Uribe and walked A.J. Pierzynski and Scott Podsednik consecutively to load ’em up. Darin Erstad then drove in Uribe on a sacrifice fly. Two batters later, Paul Konerko scored Pierzynski and Podsednik with a double to deep left field, giving the Sox a three-run edge.
In the bottom of the ninth, Piazza grounded out on a pitch from Sox closer Bobby Jenks, who then struck out two. Ballgame.
Although the Sox–who are only a game out of first place in the AL Central–were happy to get a rare series victory in Oakland, they were even happier to be leaving.
“This stadium is a dump, just like the city it’s in,” Pierzynski said. “Seriously, is there anything notable about this place, other than the fact that it’s where people fly into to get to San Francisco? I never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually looking forward to our trip to Cleveland.”
Number of the Day: 4
Homeless people found sleeping in the team plane prior to the Sox’ departure from Oakland International Airport. One was mistaken for former Sox reliever Billy Koch.