A’s bullpen falters again in loss to White Sox 

click to enlarge Eric Sogard
  • PAUL BEATY/AP
  • Athletics second baseman Eric Sogard bobbles a single by Chicago White Sox's Carlos Sanchez during the eighth inning of Wednesday's game in Chicago.
CHICAGO — Avisail Garcia drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth inning, and the Chicago White Sox beat the struggling A’s 2-1 on Wednesday night.

The A’s were in line for the win after Jeff Samardzija threw seven scoreless innings, and Adam Dunn singled in a run against his former team.

Instead, they lost for the 10th time in 13 games because the bullpen failed again to protect a lead.

Luke Gregerson (4-4) came on in the eighth, and things quickly fell apart.

It was the third time in four games that the A’s bullpen blew a lead.

Gregerson gave up a leadoff single to Carlos Sanchez, and first baseman Nate Freiman threw wildly trying to force pinch-runner Leury Garcia at second after fielding Adam Eaton’s grounder.

The runners moved to second and third with one out when Gregerson bounced an 0-2 pitch to Jose Abreu before striking him out. He intentionally walked Conor Gillaspie to load the bases, and Garcia lined a pitch up the middle for a two-run single that made it 2-1.

The late rally made a winner of Zach Putnam (5-3), who pitched a scoreless inning. Jake Petricka worked the ninth for his 12th save in 15 chances.

Samardzija looked sharp in his first start in Chicago since the Cubs traded him to Oakland on July 5. He gave up six hits, struck out six and walked two.

White Sox rookie Chris Bassitt was almost as good.

In his second major-league start, the right-hander gave up one run and five hits. He left to loud cheers after Derek Norris led off the seventh with a broken-bat single.

NOTES: A’s C John Jaso remains out indefinitely with a concussion after visiting a specialist on Wednesday. Oakland manager Bob Melvin was hoping he would be cleared to return after seeing Dr. Micky Collins in Pittsburgh. Instead, Melvin said Jaso will return to Oakland and stay away from baseball activities for at least a few days. ... A’s closer Sean Doolittle appears close to returning from a strained muscle in the rib area. He threw a side session Wednesday, and Melvin said he could be activated on Friday. ... A’s OF Craig Gentry was feeling better but still was feeling symptoms after leaving Tuesday’s game with a concussion, Melvin said.

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