Gordon Beckham homered on the first pitch of the game for the White Sox, who rallied against Oakland’s bullpen to end a seven-game losing streak at the O.co Coliseum.
John Jaso and Josh Donaldson hit solo homers off Andre Rienzo for the A’s, who were in line for a season-best seventh straight victory before the bullpen meltdown in the eighth cost Tommy Milone a chance at a win.
Beckham and Conor Gillaspie started the rally with one-out singles against Fernando Abad (0-1), and Abreu greeted Luke Gregerson with a no-doubt drive to left field for his 15th home run of the season.
“You try to make him fish, which he definitely does,” Gregerson said. “I don’t think it was really a bad pitch. It was just something he was ready for. He was looking for it.”
Abreu, a rookie slugger from Cuba, is the fourth player in major league history to hit 15 homers in his first 42 games, joining Wally Berger, Kevin Maas and Wally Joyner.
Ronald Belisario (2-3) got four outs for the win and Matt Lindstrom pitched the ninth for his sixth save in nine chances.
Milone was in danger of losing his spot in the rotation before pitching eight scoreless innings against Washington last Friday. He followed that up with another strong performance, allowing one run and five hits in six innings. But he ended up with a no-decision because of Chicago’s late rally.
The teams traded leadoff home runs with Beckham going deep for his second career leadoff homer and Jaso answering with a drive on a 2-0 pitch from Rienzo for his third.
Oakland went ahead when Donaldson led off the fourth with his ninth homer, a day after get his first day off of the season.
Milone got some help from his defense in the fifth. A perfectly executed relay from Yoenis Cespedes to Eric Sogard to Derek Norris caught Beckham trying to score from first on Gillaspie’s two-out double off the left-field wall.
NOTES: The last time both teams led off the game with homers was Aug. 13, 2013, when Seattle’s Brad Miller and Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist did it. ... Beckham became the first White Sox player to homer on the first pitch since Ray Durham did it twice in 2000. ... Oakland OF Coco Crisp missed his seventh straight game with a strained neck but could return Friday. ... Both teams are off Thursday. Chicago starts a three-game series in Houston on Friday, while the A’s open a nine-game road trip in Cleveland.