Less than 24 hours after Gavin Floyd and Tom Milone engaged in a heated pitchers' duel, the Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox were at it again in a tense game on Wednesday that went to extra innings ... and then some. A blown save resulted in a 14-inning test of wills that saw the A's come from behind to walk off with a 5-4 win.
Parker and his Chicago opponent Chris Sale held the game scoreless for the first five-and-a-half innings. Finally, in the bottom of the sixth, the A's opened the scoring as Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes had back-to-back RBI hits. Reddick's double was the only extra-base hit of the game for the A's.
Parker finally yielded a run in the top of the seventh, on a Kosuke Fukudome RBI double. Parker exited the game and the Oakland bullpen was able to shut things down until the ninth inning.
In the top of the ninth, Grant Balfour came in for the save and on his first pitch, Paul Konerko launched a leadoff home run over the left-field wall to tie the game. The homer on the high fastball was just the second run allowed by Balfour in 2012, but the result was a blown save. The home run was an historic one, as it was Konerko's 400th as a member of the White Sox.
The game headed to extra innings with the score knotted 2-2. A.J. Pierzynski managed to reach third base with two outs in the top of the 11th on a single and throwing error, but Jordan Norberto struck out Dayan Viciedo to end the inning.
In the top of the 13th, Adam Dunn led off with a double down the right field line. The pinch runner Brent Lillibridge was picked off second base. Konerko was intentionally walked and replaced with pinch runner Gordon Beckham. After Pierzynski popped up, Alex Rios doubled down the left-field line, but Beckham was thrown out at home to preserve the tie.
The White Sox were able to get two men on with two outs in the top of the 14th and Alexei Ramirez drove them both in with a double off of Jim Miller, to put the Sox ahead, 4-2
It wasn't over just yet, however. With one out in the bottom of the 14th, Reddick singled to center field and Cespedes followed up with one of his trademark two-strike monster shots to left-center that tied the game once again. The homer was Cespedes' fifth of the season. Seth Smith and Kurt Suzuki then hit back-to-back singles and Kila Ka`aihue hit an opposite-field bloop that dropped in just inside the left-field line and provided the walk-off win of the game and the series.
Parker finished with a quality start of 6.1 innings pitched, allowing one run on seven hits and a walk, with five strikeouts. Sale was every bit as sharp as Parker, going a full eight innings and allowing two runs on six hits, with five strikeouts and no walks issued.
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