CHICAGO (AP) — Mike Clevinger struck out 10 in seven sparkling innings, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 6-1 on Sunday for a split of the four-game series between two of the worst teams in the majors.
Yoán Moncada went 4 for 4 for Chicago, and Tim Anderson, Andrew Benintendi and Andrew Vaughn each had two hits. The White Sox improved to 9-15 in August.
Clevinger, Lane Ramsey and Tanner Banks held Oakland to two hits. Esteury Ruiz led off the sixth with a single to left for the Athletics’ only hit off Clevinger.
“That was a really good outing by Clev,” Chicago manager Pedro Grifol said. “That’s the guy I’ve seen for years, even back when he was in Cleveland.”
Clevinger (6-6) walked two in his 13th career double-digit strikeout performance. He is 3-2 with a 2.31 ERA in six starts since he was activated from the injured list July 29 after being sidelined by right biceps inflammation.
Clevinger said he worked on his mechanics while he was sidelined.
“It was really getting my sweeper back, stopped getting toe-heavy, just really getting more direct to the plate, stuff I was kind of honing in on in spring training,” he said. “I kind of had it and lost it a little bit. Recalibrated and got it back.”
After his base hit, Ruiz swiped second and third to give him 51 stolen bases, second in the majors, before scoring on Zack Gelof’s sacrifice fly.
The major league-worst Athletics (38-93) rank last in the majors in hits, runs and batting average.
Paul Blackburn (3-4) allowed four runs in six innings for the A’s, who had won four of six.
Anderson doubled and scored on Vaughn’s single for a 1-0 lead in the first.
Chicago extended its lead to 3-0 in the third. Benintendi singled and scored on third baseman Jordan Diaz’s throwing error on a Vaughn single. Vaughn scored on a wild pitch.
“Paul threw the ball really well, much better than the line shows,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay. “The Diaz play, I think they gave that a hit and an error, which ultimately he’s out by 10 feet if we make a good throw. We got to play better defense. We talk about it a lot. This is one of our worst defensive games in the last month or two at least.”
Moncada doubled, advanced on an error and scored on Gavin Sheets’ single in the sixth. Moncada added a two-run double in the seventh.
“I was feeling very good before spring training and the World Baseball Classic, and then all that happened was a really rough patch,” Moncada said about his health after his back injuries. “Yeah, you think about that. But hopefully that’s in the past and hopefully it stays that way, and I know that I have to keep working on my strength.”
Kotsay and right fielder Seth Brown were ejected after Brown struck out in the sixth.
White Sox: Grifol said injuries have affected the mechanics of SS Anderson and 3B Moncada this season. Anderson (sprained left knee) was on the injured list April 11-May 2. Moncada was out April 11-May 12 (lower back soreness) and June 14-July 25 (lower back inflammation). “With Tim, it was that stride and that landing and that turn and then he had to wear a brace,” Grifol said. …OF Luis Robert Jr. had the day off.
Athletics: Oakland had yet to announce its starter for Monday’s game at Seattle. RHP Bryan Woo (1-3, 4.58 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for the Mariners.
White Sox: RHP Michael Kopech (5-11, 4.95 ERA) will start Monday at Baltimore. RHP Grayson Rodriguez (3-3, 5.38 ERA) is expected to pitch for the Orioles.