Martini keys late A's rally in comeback win

Rookie collects first MLB hit, RBI; Mengden exits early with sprained right foot

June 23rd, 2018

CHICAGO -- Nick Martini had to wait 10 at-bats and nearly three weeks to collect his first hit in the Majors, but the experience, no doubt, proved to be worth it.

Playing near his Crystal Lake, Ill., home, Martini delivered a two-out pinch-hit single in the eighth inning on Saturday afternoon to give the A's a 7-6 comeback victory over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

"I wish I had gotten my first hit when I was up here the first time," Martini said. "But to get it in my backyard is definitely special, and I'm super excited."

and each homered as the A's won for the sixth time in seven games, despite falling behind, 5-0, in the first inning.

With the two homers, the A's have gone deep in 24 straight road games, tying the MLB mark of 24 set by the 1996 Orioles. The A's also have an MLB-best 67 homers in 37 road games this season.

The winning rally began innocently. After White Sox reliever struck out the first two batters in the eighth, Piscotty lifted a high fly to right that seemed to be an easy play for the final out of the frame. , though, apparently lost the ball in the high sky for a gift double.

Martini then turned the miscue into a huge mistake by lining a 3-2 pitch -- the eighth of the at-bat -- into center to plate Piscotty with the go-ahead run.

"What a great at-bat it was," manager Bob Melvin said. "That's what we saw in spring, that's what we've been hearing about him in Triple-A this year. He puts together a good, solid at-bat, doesn't try to do too much.

"A pretty significant day in his life. It's really cool."

got the final five outs for his 17th save in 19 chances despite two errors in the ninth. The right-hander has converted his past 14 opportunities.

A's starter left after just two innings because of a right foot sprain. He allowed five runs on four hits. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 14.81 ERA in his four June starts.

"We're calling it a sprain," Melvin said. "It's not in the area that was surgically repaired, so we'll check him out in the next couple of days. With what we've had going on with starting pitching this year, we didn't push it too far."

Things snowballed on Mengden quickly in the first. The White Sox challenged that leadoff hitter was hit by a pitch on the back of his arm -- instead of a foul ball off the bat -- and the call was overturned after replay.

The next two batters -- Garcia and -- singled to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead with two runners on and no outs. Mengden then walked Matt Davidson to load the bases. After drove in a run with a fielder's choice grounder, hit into another fielder's choice and it seemed the A's might get out of the jam with just the two runs.

, though, lifted a high drive that carried over the fence in right for a three-run homer and a 5-0 edge.

Piscotty's two-run shot in the second moved the A's closer, and they tied it with three in the fifth after White Sox starter had to leave with right hip soreness. drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly to right, and tied it with a two-out, two-run double to right.

Olson then led off the sixth with a homer to left-center to give the A's a 6-5 lead, but the White Sox tied it in the bottom half on a groundout by Moncada.

HE SAID IT

"The guys had a good feeling in the dugout. We got back in there, and once Piscotty hit the two-run homer, we were in shouting distance. They kept grinding the whole game and got some big hits." -- Melvin, on the A's rallying from a 5-0 hole

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY

The White Sox challenged that Moncada was hit by a pitch on the back of his arm -- instead of a foul ball off the bat -- in the bottom of the first, and the call was overturned after replay.

"My problem was with the timing of it," Melvin said. "They went out there with the trainer. To me, it took a little too long.

"But as far as whether it hit him or not, there have been so many close things that you think are gonna go one way and go the other way."

UP NEXT

makes his fourth start of the season in the finale of the four-game series Sunday at 11:10 a.m. PT. He has fared well in two of his three starts, and he is coming off an effort at San Diego on Tuesday in which he allowed two runs on four hits in five innings. Blackburn was roughed up for eight runs in 1 1/3 innings on June 13 against the Astros. pitches for the White Sox.