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Athletics vs. White Sox, Series Recap: A's Back To .500 Heading Home

The Oakland Athletics wrapped a marathon series with the Chicago White Sox, taking two of three games to even themselves at 6-6 as they head home from a nine game road trip. The series saw all three games go twelve innings as we saw a mix of quality good and bad bullpen work. The A’s offense had been struggling for much of the road trip, but the bats have started to heat up, scoring five or more runs in three of the last four games.

A’s Pitcher of the Series: Brian Fuentes – Fuentes made two appearances for two innings and netted a pair of saves in this series. I list Fuentes as pitcher of the series because he has settled into the temporary closer role quite well lately. Eventually Andrew Bailey will return to the bullpen, but for now Fuentes is allowing the A’s to go into save situations with few concerns about their temporary closer.

A’s Hitter of the Series: Hideki Matsui – I was tempted to go with Daric Barton given his 4-for-5 night on Tuesday and his two big RBIs today, but I decided to instead go with Godzilla. Barton’s 4-for-5 was nice but it netted out one run and no RBIs. After on 0-fer on Monday, Matsui was 5-for-9 with three RBIs and a run scored, including his second home run of the season, on Tuesday and Wednesday. Matsui has his average up to .262 at this point and if he can gain some level of consistency, the A’s offense could be in great shape.

Notable Number: 4 – As in the number of infield positions Andy LaRoche has now played for the A’s since the start of the season. He wrapped up his infield swing with time at first base today. LaRoche has been hitting the ball well in limited action and Bob Geren is doing everything he can to get LaRoche at bats. In two weeks of play, LaRoche has made three starts at shortstop and one start apiece at first, second, and third base.

Upcoming Schedule: The A’s head home for a six game homestand with four games against the Detroit Tigers and two games against the Boston Red Sox. The Tigers series kicks off Thursday (tomorrow) at 7:05pm pacific on CSN California.

Series Results
Monday: A’s 2 – White Sox 1
WP: Tyson Ross (1-0)
LP: Jesse Crain (0-1)
Sv: Brian Fuentes (4)

Tuesday: White Sox 6 – A’s 5
WP: Chris Sale (2-0)
LP: Bobby Cramer (0-1)

Wednesday: A’s 7 – White Sox 4
WP: Grant Balfour (1-1)
LP: Matt Thornton (0-2)
Sv: Brian Fuentes (5)