OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — The Oakland Athletics know far too well that little mistakes lead to tough losses.
That was the story of their 2015 season, when they went a major league-worst 19-35 in one-run games while also leading baseball with 126 errors. That didn’t change during spring training, when Oakland committed 45 errors — six more than any other club.READ MORE: Armed Bike Thieves Targeting Cyclists in the East Bay Hills
One game into the regular season and the A’s have another one-run defeat, 4-3 to the Chicago White Sox after two more costly flubs.
“That’s what happens when you give extra outs. Can’t do that,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We learned that last year, we’ve learned it this spring. In close games it typically ends up being a play like that, a play or two defensively that you should make.”
Thrown into a last-minute start after ace Sonny Gray was scratched with food poisoning that sent him to the emergency room, Rich Hill made a throwing error on a pickoff try in Chicago’s four-run third. Also, first baseman Mark Canha failed to catch a throw from shortstop Marcus Semien that same inning as two runs scored.
Chris Sale struck out eight in a solid season debut for the White Sox to build off his franchise record last year.
Adam Eaton hit an RBI triple and Jimmy Rollins drove in a run during that key third inning in his first game with the White Sox playing back home in the East Bay.
What had been planned as a marquee matchup between two American League aces never happened once Gray got sick.
“I hope he feels better and gets hydrated,” Eaton said. “It’s tough because you mentally prepare for Sonny Gray. All day yesterday we prepared for him.”
Sale (1-0) didn’t allow a runner until Stephen Vogt beat out an infield single with one out in the third.
The left-hander went seven innings. He gave up three runs and seven hits with one walk.
White Sox closer David Robertson allowed Coco Crisp’s leadoff walk in the ninth and then finished with three straight outs for the save, preserving Sale’s first victory at the Oakland Coliseum in five outings and three starts.
Jed Lowrie hit a two-run single and Billy Butler had a pair of doubles for the A’s. Lowrie drew a leadoff walk in the eighth and advanced when Zach Duke came in and induced Josh Reddick’s groundout before Nate Jones got the final two outs of the inning.
Hill (0-1) made a forgettable Oakland debut in his first career opening day start. It lasted just 2 2-3 innings after he replaced Gray.
Hill plunked Eaton with his first pitch and hit Jose Abreu two batters later, but escaped unscathed with a pickoff of Eaton at second.READ MORE: COVID Reopening: San Francisco Allows For Small Indoor Gatherings Among Fully Vaccinated
The 36-year-old Hill, going on regular rest and the 10th A’s pitcher to start the opener in the past 11 years, threw 36 strikes among his 66 pitches.
He had started just four games in the majors since 2009. Hill went 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in four starts last September for Boston. He signed a $6 million, one-year deal with Oakland in the offseason.
“It was an honor to be able to have the opportunity to start on opening day,” he said. “(It) just solely falls on me, the inability to go deeper in the game for us to not come out on top in that one.”
The third inning lasted 41 minutes with 80 pitches, eight hits, seven runs and three errors.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
A moment of silence was held in the memory of two late A’s players who died in recent months, Dave Henderson and Tony Phillips. Both were members of Oakland’s last World Series championship team in 1989.
Henderson died in late December at age 57, and Phillips passed away in February at 56.
Their family members threw out the ceremonial first pitches, with Hall of Famer and ex-teammate Rickey Henderson handling catching duties.
Athletics: LHP Felix Doubront was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left elbow after he lasted just one inning Saturday against San Francisco. He will travel to Cincinnati to receive a second opinion next Monday from Dr. Timothy Kremchek to determine whether he might need Tommy John surgery. The A’s recalled OF Andrew Lambo from Triple-A Nashville to fill the roster spot. … INF Eric Sogard, on the disabled list with a neck strain, is scheduled to hit Wednesday against Henderson Alvarez, who will face live batters as he works his way back from right shoulder surgery.
White Sox: LHP Jose Quintana has never had a decision against the A’s, including his only outing in Oakland on June 1, 2013.
Athletics: RHP Chris Bassitt will pitch Tuesday night and Gray will start Wednesday.MORE NEWS: Downed Wires Cleared in Fremont; Southbound I-880 Off-Ramp To Hwy 84 Reopened
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