Oakland took the opener 7-4 on Friday, just its third victory in 15 games since winning seven in a row from June 6-13.
The latest win featured an unusual dugout conference between A’s manager Mark Kotsay and his starting pitcher, Luis Medina. The rookie right-hander faced 14 batters in the first two innings but somehow managed to limit the White Sox to one run
Medina was watching video of his pitches on a tablet computer in the dugout between innings when Kotsay called him over for a man-to-man talk.
“He was battling himself,” Kotsay said. “I kinda sent a message to the kid — not something I normally do. I grabbed the iPad … the iPad he had ended up on the floor and I just told him to go out there and pitch. It turned the night around and gave us enough to get into the game and go on and win.”
Medina wound up allowing no more runs in his last three innings, facing just 10 more batters, and he emerged as the winning pitcher.
“He was telling me not to think too much,” Medina said through a translator. “Just go out and throw the ball where the catcher is asking for it and be aggressive with my pitches.”
The A’s were unsure who their Saturday starting pitcher would be after placing their scheduled starter, right-hander James Kaprielian, on the injured list on Friday. The team was awaiting the results of an MRI exam that Kaprielian had on his sore right shoulder.
Right-hander Dylan Cease (3-3, 4.04 ERA) is scheduled to start for the White Sox on Saturday
Cease made five consecutive solid starts in June but emerged with five straight no-decisions. He wound up with a 2.20 ERA, 42 strikeouts and 10 walks in 28 2/3 innings last month. He did not allow more than two runs in any outing, all of which wound up in being one-run games, with Chicago winning three of them.
The fifth-year major-leaguer has dominated the A’s in three career meetings, going 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA, 21 strikeouts and seven walks in 18 innings. The 27-year-old’s only previous start in Oakland saw him throw six shutout innings, allowing three hits, in a 4-1 win last July.
White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks, a former A’s closer who returned to the majors in May after receiving treatment for Stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma, will miss the series as he is on the injured list due to right elbow inflammation
He delivered a message before the series opener.
“People can see I’m going through something similar: That’s all we are trying to attain,” he said of cancer survivors. “Trying to push forward to raising awareness and potentially funding for research, and hopefully somebody who is going through it currently can look upon this and say, ‘He’s doing it. Now I can do it.'”
The White Sox had won four of their past six games before falling on Friday
–Field Level Media
Original source here
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