Thursday, April 7, 2016

Abreu's homer hands Sox game, series win

Jose Abreu's two-run homer in the sixth inning broke up a scoreless pitching duel and led to a series victory for Chicago, as the White Sox beat the Oakland Athletics, 6-1, Thursday to take three of four in the series and give Mat Latos his first win since last July.
A's starter Kendall Graveman, who was still feeling the effects of a stomach flu, threw five scoreless innings before walking Melky Cabrera and giving up Abreu's homer to open the sixth. He allowed three hits total, walking one and striking out four in 5 1/3 innings.
"I got through it," Graveman said. "There are times you're not going to feel 100 percent, and you still have to find a way to get outs."
Latos, who last won July 21, retired 13 Oakland hitters before Chris Coghlan singled to break up a no-hit bid.
"We got him out there a little bit, and I think even later he was spinning it pretty good. Breaking stuff was good," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. Ventura noted that he "started to get a little concern there, just endurance-wise," but he was happy to see Latos stretch it out. Coghlan drove in the A's only run in the ninth.
Latos left after giving up the one hit over six scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out two. Dioner NavarroTyler Saladino and Cabrera also drove in runs for the White Sox in a four-run ninth.
"He didn't throw anything over the middle of the plate," A's catcher Stephen Vogt said. "He did a good job of not giving us the same look."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Abreu finds his power: After being held mostly in check during the White Sox first three games, with no RBIs and five strikeouts, Abreu finally flashed the form that's made him one of the game's premier hitters, lashing a 91-mph sinker just over the scoreboard in right field. He notched a third RBI with a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Coghlan's reprieve: When Coghlan made certain Latos would make no history with his single in the fifth, he did so immediately after left fielder J.B. Shuck lost his foul ball in the sun.
Lawrie's return: Traded from Oakland to the White Sox in the offseason, Brett Lawrieshowed off for his former team with a pair of sparkling defensive plays. In the fifth, he ended the inning and the first real A's rally of the game with a diving stop on a sharp grounder by Coco Crisp, flipping to second for the force. Then in the sixth, he changed direction on a ball that was deflected by Latos, firing to first to beat Billy Burns by a half-step.
QUOTABLE
"We set together a game plan today, I followed him. ... I can't take credit for something that he did, that was all him, I didn't shake him once -- actually I did, and then he kinda looked at me sideways, and then I was like 'OK, whatever you want.'" -- Latos on his batterymate, Navarro
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The win was Ventura's 300th of his career as a Major League manager, all in his four-plus seasons with the White Sox. That gives him the 12th most managerial wins in franchise history. Jimmy Callahan, who helmed the team from 1903-14, is 11th with 309.
WHAT'S NEXT
White Sox: Lefty John Danks gets the start in Chicago's home opener Friday at 3:10 p.m. CT against the Cleveland Indians. He's 5-14 against the Tribe in his career.
A's: Southpaw Eric Surkamp will be recalled from Triple-A Nashville to make the start in the Mariners' home opener on Friday at 7:10 p.m. PT. He replaces injured lefty Felix Doubront.

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