Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Chris Carter finally got his first major league hit, and it helped start the game-winning rally in Oakland’s 3-0 win over the struggling Chicago White Sox.
Carter began his career mired in an 0-for-33 slump, but started the seventh inning with a single. He was replaced by pinch-runner Gabe Gross, who scored several plays later with what turned out to be the game-winning run.
Kurt Suzuki hit a two-run single for the Athletics, who have won three of four. Gio Gonzalez hurled six shutout innings, allowing four hits and four walks while striking out seven, and Boof Bonser (1-0) received the win for a perfect inning of work.
Monday broke a string of 26 consecutive games where the Oakland starter received the decision.
Andruw Jones doubled for the White Sox, who saw the Twins’ magic number to clinch the AL Central decrease to two after their seventh straight loss, a season-worst. Gavin Floyd lasted just seven pitches before leaving with a shoulder injury, and Tony Pena pitched six scoreless innings in relief.
Scott Linebrink (3-2) was dealt the loss.
After 6 1/2 innings of scoreless baseball, the Athletics finally broke through in the bottom of the seventh. Carter began the inning with his single to left off Linebrink, and Cliff Pennington reached when Brent Lillibridge couldn’t hold first base on a bunt attempt. Rajai Davis followed with a bunt single to load the bases, and Daric Barton’s fielder’s choice groundout brought in Gross for the first run of the game.
With the bases loaded and two outs later in the inning, Suzuki came through with a two-run single to right for a 3-0 advantage.
Chicago never threatened down the stretch, as Michael Wuertz and Craig Breslow combined to pitch two scoreless innings. Breslow earned his third save.
The White Sox put runners on second and third with two down in the second, but Ramon Castro struck out to end the threat. The A’s put a runner on third with one down in the third, but Barton and Jack Cust both struck out to keep the game scoreless.
Gonzalez walked the bases loaded with two away in the fourth, but Castro again fanned to keep Chicago off the board. Oakland put its first two hitters on base in the home half, but couldn’t cash in.
The White Sox stranded runners in scoring position in both the fifth and sixth innings.
Oakland leads the season series, 4-3…With their 75th win of the season, the A’s matched their 2008 and 2009 win total…Oakland has a 2.84 ERA at home this season, the lowest such mark in the majors…Chicago’s last seven-game losing streak occurred from April 28-May 5, 2008…The A’s are 67-0 when leading after eight innings this season…Bonser recorded his first win since June 4, 2008 while with the Twins…The A’s notched their AL-best 15th shutout.