CHICAGO -- Khris Davis and Matt Joyce homered to lead Oakland to a 3-0 victory over the White Sox, spoiling the South Siders' return home to Guaranteed Rate Field. Friday's contest marked the start of a 10-game homestand for the White Sox, with Mark Buehrle's jersey No. 56 being retired
CHICAGO -- Khris Davis and Matt Joyce homered to lead Oakland to a 3-0 victory over the White Sox, spoiling the South Siders' return home to Guaranteed Rate Field. Friday's contest marked the start of a 10-game homestand for the White Sox, with Mark Buehrle's jersey No. 56 being retired prior to Saturday afternoon's game.
Jharel Cotton earned the victory for the A's by throwing five-plus shutout innings. The right-hander needed only 66 pitches to get to that point, including 42 strikes, but he left after allowing Kevan Smith's lead-off single due to a blister on his right thumb. Cotton yielded three hits and walked one while striking out three.
"We've seen him really good and we've seen him struggle with command, and today, for the most part, command wasn't an issue," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "When he's throwing the ball where he wants to and he's using all his pitches, he usually has some success."
• Blister ends Cotton's strong start; Pinder exits
Mike Pelfrey took the loss, giving up three runs on four hits in 4 2/3 innings. Davis connected for a two-run homer in the first off Pelfrey, and Joyce's was a solo shot to lead off the fifth. Pelfrey walked five and struck out four as he slipped to 3-6.
"Five walks, and I think probably all of them were with two outs, which is a cardinal sin," Pelfrey said. "I don't think I did a lot to be successful, which is tough, because I think we were all excited to be home for a long stretch. Not a good way to start on my part, especially two out walks and a homer. Not very good."
The White Sox had only one runner, Yolmer Sanchez in the third, get as far as second base over the first eight innings. Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu singled to start the ninth against A's closer Santiago Casilla, but he escaped unscathed when Matt Davidson flew out to the warning track in center field on a 1-2 pitch to end the game.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Two-out action: Davis connected on a two-out sinker from Pelfrey with such authority that it made the partisan crowd in Chicago audibly wince. But the drive to center, which left the bat at 107 mph and traveled 437 feet per Statcast™, doesn't get a chance to happen if not for Jed Lowrie's two-out, four-pitch walk.
"It was important to jump out and score first, so I was keeping that aggressive mindset early on," Davis said. "I noticed that he walked [Lowrie] on four pitches, so I thought he was just going to be around the plate, so thought that would be the best one to get."
Keeping it close: The White Sox remained three runs behind the A's going into the bottom of the fifth because of a great defensive play made by right fielder Avisail Garcia to end the top half of the inning. With Davis on second and Yonder Alonso on first, Ryon Healy hit a drive down the right-field line that would have scored two, but Garcia made the running one-handed grab and crashed into the wall after the play.
"[Melvin] told me he wanted to give me a kiss because we jumped out to an early lead. Before the game, he talked to us about how we had been playing on the road. I think he just wanted to see us compete every pitch, and that's mostly what he talked about." -- Davis, on his first-inning homer
"Again, we had the potential tying run at the plate and the go-ahead run in the on-deck circle. We got to go in there a little bit at the end. We just fell a little short."-- White Sox manager Rick Renteria, on an unsuccessful ninth-inning rally
A CRUMMY BIRTHDAY
Tim Anderson received his first career ejection in the fifth inning after a grounder he tapped in front of the plate. A's catcher Bruce Maxwell grabbed the ball in fair territory and tagged out Anderson, who had not left the box thinking the ball was foul. Anderson had a few words for home-plate umpire Jim Wolf before he was tossed, on his 24th birthday. Renteria continued the argument and was ejected for the ninth time overall and for the second straight home game.
"You just got to learn from it and keep going," Anderson said.
• Renteria, birthday boy Anderson ejected vs. A's
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The White Sox challenged an out call at second base to end the fifth inning. Yolmer Sanchez tried to stretch an infield single after A's shortstop Chad Pinder couldn't make a play on the ball and then waited an extra moment or two to pick it up. Pinder nailed Sanchez on a toss to Lowrie, and after video review, no angle clearly showed Sanchez touching the base before the tag was applied.
A's: The A's will send rookie right-hander Daniel Gossett to the mound for Saturday's 11:30 a.m. PT matchup with the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Gossett, who will be making just the third start of his big league career, held the Astros to two runs across 6 2/3 innings on Monday.
White Sox:James Shields is set to make his fifth start of the season and his second since coming off of the disabled list in Saturday afternoon's contest against the A's with a first pitch of 1:30 p.m. CT. Shields is 6-5 with a 4.15 ERA and 11 quality starts lifetime against Oakland.
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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.
Jane Lee** has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.