A’s hold on to win despite bullpen troubles 

click to enlarge Jed Lowrie drove in a pair of runs for the A’s against the White Sox. - BEN MARGOT/AP
  • Ben Margot/AP
  • Jed Lowrie drove in a pair of runs for the A’s against the White Sox.

OAKLAND -- Jesse Chavez struck out seven and came up an inning short of his first career complete game as the A's held on to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Monday night for their season-high fifth straight win.

Chavez (3-1) gave up five hits and walked two. He allowed only solo home runs to Dayan Viciedo and Jose Abreu.

Josh Donaldson hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth, and Josh Reddick hit a tying triple in the second off John Danks (3-3) during Oakland's win. Jed Lowrie added a two-run double in the seventh that proved pivotal after the White Sox scored three runs in the ninth.

Left-hander Sean Doolittle recorded the final three outs for his second save.

Chicago, which has lost four of five, made things interesting till the end.

After Abreu's homer, Fernando Abad walked Adam Dunn. Then struggling reliever Jim Johnson gave up a double to Viciedo and an RBI single to Alexei Ramirez.

Johnson, who the A's signed from Baltimore in the offseason to be their closure, left to a familiar sound in Oakland: a shower of boos from the home crowd. Paul Konerko hit a sacrifice fly that sliced Oakland's lead to 5-4. Then Doolittle got Alejandro De Aza to fly out before striking out Tyler Flowers.

The AL-West leading A's, coming off a home sweep of Washington, added another layer of frustration for a Chicago team beginning a nine-game road trip that also stops in Houston and Kansas City.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura already was agitated after a 5-1 home loss to Arizona on Sunday, calling it "uninspired" effort. And his night wasn't any better after the White Sox spent about eight hours on a plane because of storms in Chicago that delayed their flight to the West Coast.

They still looked sharp at the start, getting a solo home run from Viciedo in the second. It was his third homer of the season.

Reddick came back in the bottom of the inning with a two-out triple that scored Nick Punto. It was the third triple of the season for Reddick, who entered the game in a 4-for-32 slump. He added a bunt single and a walk before striking out with the bases load in the eighth.

The White Sox wasted an opportunity to retake the lead when they advanced runners to second and third on Chavez's wild pitch in the fifth. Conor Gillaspie hit a hard line drive with two outs -- but right into center fielder Craig Gentry's glove.

Then came Donaldson's drive in the fifth, lining a 2-0 fastball into the seats in left for his eighth home run. Lowrie added a two-run double off reliever Daniel Webb in the seventh to stretch Oakland's lead to 5-1.

Chavez came oh-so close to his first complete game. He had never completed more than seven innings, which he has done three times this year.

Chavez has allowed one earned run or fewer in six of his eight starts this season. The A's are a 7-1 when he pitches.

NOTES: Athletics CF Coco Crisp took swings in batting practice before sitting out for the fifth straight game with a strained neck. He said he's day to day. ... White Sox LHP Chris Sale, out since April 17 because of a strained muscle near his left elbow, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment in Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday. ... LHP Drew Pomeranz (2-1, 1.45 ERA) makes his second start for the A's opposite Chicago's Scott Carroll on Tuesday.

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