OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — Kila Ka’aihue blooped a winning single in the 14th inning soon after Yoenis Cespedes’ tying two-run homer, and the Oakland Athletics rallied past the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Wednesday.
Cespedes delivered his fifth homer of the season against Hector Santiago (0-1) after Chicago took the lead in the top half. Then Ka’aihue came through with one out in a game that lasted 3 hours, 56 minutes.
Jim Miller (1-0) struck out Brent Lillibridge for his first major league win after being called up earlier in the day.
Alexei Ramirez hit a go-ahead two-run double with two outs in the top of the 14th.
Paul Konerko hit his 400th career home run to tie the game at 2 in the Chicago ninth.
The game featured “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” twice, along with a 14th-inning stretch.
After a pair of gems from Chicago starters this trip—Phil Humber’s perfect game Saturday at Seattle, then Jake Peavy’s three-hit shutout Monday—this day became about the terrific White Sox bullpen until Oakland finally got to the relievers.
Konerko sent the first pitch from A’s closer Grant Balfour onto the left-field steps to start the ninth.
It looked like the White Sox would take this one after scoring two unearned runs in the top of the 14th.
Dayan Viciedo reached on third baseman Eric Sogard’s fielding error and Brent Morel sacrificed him to second. Eduardo Escobar flied out and Alejandro De Aza walked before Miller relieved Jerry Blevins to face Ramirez.
The A’s saved themselves in the 13th with a pair of defensive gems. Catcher Kurt Suzuki caught pinch-runner Lillibridge well off second base, then shortstop Cliff Pennington chased down Alex Rios’ double that skipped into the Oakland bullpen and made a quick throw to Sogard, who then relayed to Suzuki just in time to get a sliding Gordon Beckham.
Konerko’s fourth homer of the year spoiled an impressive A’s debut by Jarrod Parker, who struck out five in 6 1-3 innings following his call-up from Triple-A Sacramento.
The 23-year-old Parker, making just his second career start, exhibited the poise and improved command the A’s hoped he would after sending him down this spring to work some things out.
Reddick’s two-out double to right-center in the sixth brought home speedy leadoff hitter Jemile Weeks, who started the rally with a one-out single. Cespedes followed with an RBI single.
The White Sox responded with Kosuke Fukudome’s RBI double in the seventh that Cespedes got his glove on in center but couldn’t control, and Rios just beat a late throw home to Suzuki.
But Chicago missed a chance to tie it when Fukudome was caught stealing on a squeeze attempt after Morel couldn’t deliver a bunt on a 2-1 count.
Home plate umpire Jerry Layne took a foul from Chicago’s Eduardo Escobar off the left shoulder in the fifth and was briefly examined by the A’s training staff before staying in the game. Layne returned to the box and playfully grabbed Escobar’s bat and jokingly pretending to swing it.
NOTES: Already without LF Coco Crisp because of a lingering illness, the A’s had Luke Hughes set to start at 3B before he arrived at the ballpark with a 102-degree temperature and couldn’t play. … Teri McKeever, head swim coach at Cal and coach of this summer’s Olympic women’s team in London, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
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