A's ride relief effort to win decisive Game 3 vs. White Sox
Field Level Media
Oct 1, 2020
The Oakland Athletics rallied from an early deficit and used eight pitchers Thursday to post a 6-4 victory over the visiting Chicago White Sox in the decisive Game 3 of their American League wild-card series.
Oakland's first postseason success since 2006 advances the second-seeded AL West champion into the AL Division Series against the sixth-seeded Houston Astros. Game 1 is set for Monday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Over the past 14 years, the A's had come up short in three postseason series and three AL wild-card games, including in each of the past two seasons.
Chicago's Luis Robert opened the scoring with a 487-foot home run, the longest at Oakland Coliseum in the Statcast era (since 2015). The White Sox pushed the lead to 3-0 after Robert's RBI single and Nomar Mazara's run-scoring double in the third inning.
The A's went ahead with a four-run fourth, and after the White Sox forged a tie, seized the upper hand for good with a two-run fifth.
Meanwhile, after Oakland starter Mike Fiers had allowed one run and five hits in 1 2/3 innings, the A's held on as Yusmeiro Petit, Frankie Montas, J.B. Wendelken, Lou Trivino, Jake Diekman, Joakim Soria and Liam Hendriks continually worked into and out of trouble to deny the White Sox what could have been their first postseason series win since the 2005 World Series.
Sean Murphy and Chad Pinder had the biggest hits for the A's. Murphy put Oakland on the board in the fourth inning with a two-run homer off Chicago's fourth pitcher, Codi Heuer. In the fifth, Pinder producing what turned out to be the difference-making runs with a two-out, two-run single against Evan Marshall (0-1).
In between, the A's also benefited from a pair of bases-loaded walks issued by Chicago's Matt Foster in the four-run fourth.
Montas (1-0), who allowed one run in two innings, was credited with the win.
The White Sox out-hit the A's 12-8 and had opportunities to tie the game or take the lead in the final three innings, but came up empty.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, A's left-hander Diekman got Adam Engel to ground out.
And in the eighth, the White Sox had two men on and one out, when Soria induced Jose Abreu to ground into a rally-killing double play.
And after James McCann opened the ninth with a single off of Oakland closer Hendriks, Chicago's next three hitters represented the tying run. Yet, A's right-hander struck out three in a row -- getting Yoan Moncada and the redhot Robert swinging, and Mazara looking to end it.
The White Sox stranded 12 baserunners, going just 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position. The A's also left 12 aboard, going 2-for-7 with men in scoring position.
The wild game featured 17 pitchers, 12 walks, a catcher's interference, a hit batter, an error and two injuries.
The White Sox lost their second pitcher, Garrett Crochet, to a strained forearm after he struck out both batters he faced, and outfielder Eloy Jimenez after he aggravated a foot injury while running out a double.
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