After allowing just one baserunner in the first four innings, Blackburn suddenly lost it, and the A's surrendered back-to-back five-run innings in a 10-3 loss to the White Sox to split the four-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Mark Canha homered and had two RBIs for the A's. His homer leading off the fifth extended their road homer streak to 25 games, establishing a new Major League record. They had been tied with the 1996 Baltimore Orioles.
Blackburn (1-2) allowed six runs on eight hits in five-plus innings.
The right-hander had allowed two runs on four hits over five innings in his previous start at San Diego. Before that, he lasted just 1 1/3 innings and gave up eight runs on eight hits against the Astros. His first start was his best, allowing just one run on three hits in six innings against the Royals on June 7.
"One real good outing, one bad one," manager Bob Melvin said. "He was good for a while this time and had one real tough inning. He's still trying to find his way a little bit consistently."
White Sox starter Carlos Rodon (1-2) allowed just two runs on seven hits in eight innings to get his first win of the season.
Blackburn, though, was winning a pitching duel, 2-0, with two outs and none on in the fifth when the game turned.
The next six batters reached base on five hits and a hit-by-pitch. Yoan Moncada delivered the key hit with a three-run double to put the White Sox on top 3-2. Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu then followed with RBI singles to make it 5-2.
The inning ended when Abreu was thrown out at second trying to stretch his hit into a double.
Blackburn was yanked after giving up a homer to Daniel Palka leading off the sixth.
"I felt good; I felt like my stuff was there," Blackburn said. "I feel like I was mixing pitches well. I was executing my pitches well. Except to six batters in the fifth and one leading off the sixth."
The White Sox, though, weren't done hitting. Reliever Liam Hendriks struck out the first batter he faced before Yolmer Sanchez hit a solo homer. Two of the next three batters singled, and Moncada put the capper on the back-to-back five-run innings -- and his six-RBI day -- with a three-run homer.
Canha gave the A's a 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly in the second. His homer off Rodon in the fifth was his 10th of the season.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED It was understandably overshadowed by the back-to-back five-run innings, but the A's wasted a prime opportunity to break the game open in the fifth following Canha's homer. Jonathan Lucroy followed with a single and Franklin Barreto doubled to put runners on second and third with none out. Both runners, though, were stranded.
"There was a big swing in that game, starting with us not being able to score with runners on second and third and nobody out," Melvin said.
HE SAID IT "He's good. When he's throwing strikes and keeping the ball down, he's tough to get the ball in the air. He had a high velo, up to 96 with some movement on it." -- Melvin, on Rodon
UP NEXT Well-traveled veteran Edwin Jackson will make his A's debut in the opener of a four-game series at Detroit on Monday with a first pitch of 12:10 p.m. PT. Jackson made three starts with Triple-A Nashville after signing a Minor League deal, going 0-1 with a 4.02 ERA. Jordan Zimmermann pitches for the Tigers. The game can be seen on MLB Network.
John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago.