Melvin on Donaldson: 'That's big-time stuff'
Josh Donaldson's first career grand slam made him 6-for-8 with the bases loaded this year. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
The Oakland A's are in first place in the American League West for the first time since April 20.
A grand slam by Josh Donaldson in the sixth inning and a home run-robbing catch by Josh Reddick in the ninth gave the A's a 4-3 comeback victory Friday night. The White Sox had built a 3-0 lead when Donaldson hit his first career grand slam, taking Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale's 1-and-1, 95-mph offering opposite field, over the right-field fence.
The A's improved to 38-25, a season-best 13 games over .500. Oakland has now won 18 of its last 22 games, including eight of nine, to go ahead of the Texas Rangers by 1/2 a game. The A's 38 victories are the most in the American League.
Starting pitching report
Jarrod Parker went a season-high seven-plus innings before he was lifted after Tyler Flowers singled to lead off the eighth inning. He gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits and two walks while striking out four. The right-hander improved to 5-6 with the victory, winning his fourth game in five decisions, even as the solo homer he surrendered Flowers in the third was the 12th homer Parker has given up this season, after allowing 11 homers all of last season.
Ryan Cook took over with a runner at first in the eighth and promptly walked his first batter, despite Alejandro De Aza wanting to drop a sacrifice bunt. Cook then got Alexei Ramirez to pop out to third on his attempted bunt, Alex Rios to pop out to first on an infield-fly and Adam Dunn to fly out to center field. Grant Balfour struck out Dayan Viciedo, was saved by a home run-robbing catch from Josh Reddick of Conor Gillaspie's drive and got Gordon Beckham to fly out to center to end the game. It was the 33rd straight successful save by Balfour, dating to last season, his 15th consecutive this year.
At the plate
The A's only had six hits, and Reddick had two of them, a pair of singles. Donaldson's grand slam, obviously, was just enough. Donaldson is now six-for-eight with the bases loaded this season, and 10-for-18 in his career. Chris Young, though, was 0-for-4, extending his hitless streak to 13 at-bats and dropping his average to .177.
In the field
Chicago's second run was aided by an A's error. Catcher Derek Norris double-pumped his throw to second base -- it appeared as though he lost his grip on the ball on the exchange -- and the ball bounced well shy on Alex Rios' steal. The ball bounding away to center field allowed Rios to scamper to third and one batter later, Viciedo's sacrifice flyout to left field brought Rios home for the 2-0 lead. As noted earlier, Gold Glove right fielder Reddick robbed Gillaspie of a game-tying solo home run with one out in the ninth, timing his jump at the fence perfectly to pull the ball back in.
The White Sox announced a crowd of 22,861 at U.S. Cellular Field.
Tommy Milone (6-5, 3.91 ERA) will be facing the White Sox for only the second time in his young career. He threw eight shutout innings, with three hits allowed, five strikeouts and no walks on April 24, 2012 at the Coliseum. Milone's numbers are significantly better at night (6-2, 3.24) than in the day (0-3, 6.27) this season, and Saturday's first pitch is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. in Chicago. The left-handed John Danks (0-2, 5.63) will start for the White Sox. He is 5-1 with a 2.26 ERA in eight career starts against the A's.