After six consecutive one-run games, the A’s ditched the suspense Tuesday night.
Led by Josh Donaldson’s five-hit performance, they blew out the Chicago White Sox 11-2 to even this four-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
Oakland knocked out 18 hits and jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the fifth inning. They kept adding to it, looking like a team that was taking out some built-up offensive frustration.
Donaldson, who struck out four times Monday night, led the charge by going 5-for-6 with four RBI. The hits were a career high, and it was a breakout night for a player that came in stuck in a 3-for-29 rut.
That was plenty of support for Jon Lester, who went eight innings and held the Sox to two runs.
Derek Norris had three hits and Sam Fuld drove in two runs as the A’s won for just the fifth time in the past 16 games. The White Sox helped out greatly with five errors, but the A’s made them pay for their mistakes, which hasn’t always been the case lately.
The only dark cloud from the victory was center fielder Craig Gentry leaving the game with a concussion, and his status wasn’t immediately known.
Starting pitching report
Lester was in fine form, limiting the Sox to seven hits and finding the win column for the first time since Aug. 12. He had lost three of his past four outings, though he posted a very solid 2.67 ERA over that span.
Evan Scribner got in some work during a drama-free ninth inning. That was welcome after the A’s took one-run leads into the ninth each of the previous two games and couldn’t make them stand.
At the plate
The A’s banged out 18 hits, and no one could have walked off the field feeling better than Donaldson. His big game came one night after he whiffed four times. Donaldson drove a two-run double over the head of Sox center fielder Adam Eaton in the fifth that gave the A’s a 4-0 lead.
That rally started with Coco Crisp reaching when Sox third baseman Marcus Semien misplayed his grounder. He went to second on Gentry’s bunt single and advanced to third on Danks’ E-1 toss to first that resulted in Gentry’s concussion.
Oakland broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the fourth, though neither run scored on balls that left the infield. Semien helped out with the first of his three errors.
After Donaldson’s single and Jonny Gomes’ double put runners on second and third with no outs, Derek Norris tapped a groundout to third that brought Donaldson home. Jed Lowrie grounded to third for the second out, and then Nate Freiman followed with yet another ground ball to third. This time, Marcus Semien threw wildly to first for an error that allowed Gomes to score.
Up 6-2, the A’s added five runs in the ninth to take away all suspense.
In the field
Semien and the Sox had their defensive issues, but the A’s played an error-free game.
Jeff Samardzija (4-5, 3.70) takes the ball for the A’s and opposes right-hander Chris Bassitt (0-1, 7.36) in Wednesday’s 5:10 p.m. game.