Cubs blanked by Myers, Berkman slam blows it open for Astros

HOUSTON —Brett Myers pitched a complete game, Lance Berkman hit his first grand slam since 2008 and the Houston Astros beat the Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night.It is the 10th career complete game for Myers (8-6) and his first since May. He allowed four hits and struck out a career high-tying 12 batters.Berkman’s fifth career grand slam came in Houston’s six-run seventh inning with the team leading 2-0. The shot, his first since Aug. 12, 2008, sailed over the bullpen and landed in the stands behind it in right-center field.Myers extended his club record for consecutive starts of at least six innings to begin a season to 21 with his performance.Ted Lilly left after 5 with the game scorless.Losing pitcher Andrew Cashner gave up all Houston runs,including the slam to Berkman.Tyler Colvin homered off Myers in the 9th for the only Cub run.

Sox blow away pitiful M’s 11-0, stay in first place

Alexei Ramirez, Andruw Jones and Paul Konerko homered, powering Gavin Floyd and the White Sox to an 11-0 victory over the woeful Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night. Ramirez finished with three hits and three RBI and Jones also drove in three for the White Sox, who led 8-0 after three innings. A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-out, two-run single in a four-run first against Ryan Rowland-Smith.Ramirez, who also singled in a run in the first, is 8 for 12 with five RBI in his last three games, including six hits in consecutive games against Seattle.The Mariners have lost 18 of their last 24 games and are 6-18 in July. They were shut out for the seventh time and are last in the majors in several offensive categories.Floyd (6-8) allowed four hits in seven innings, improving to 4-2 with a sparkling 1.04 ERA in his last 10 starts. The 6-foot-6 right-hander hasn’t surrendered more than two earned runs in a game since he lasted just 2 2/3 innings in a 9-5 loss to Texas on June 2.With the trade deadline coming up Saturday, the AL Central-leading White Sox made another strong argument to stay the course. They have won nine straight home games, their longest such streak since 2008, and 16 of 17 overall at U.S. Cellular Field.Rowland-Smith (1-10) allowed all 11 runs and 11 hits in five innings, putting his rotation spot in jeopardy with another lackluster outing.Ramirez hit a two-run drive and Konerko connected for his second in two games in a three-run second. Jones hit a three-run shot in the fifth for his 14th homer and career No. 402. Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo had two doubles apiece for the White Sox, who finished with 12 hits.The Mariners welcomed back designated hitter Russell Branyan, who was sidelined with back spasms, but played without center fielder Franklin Gutierrez and lost third baseman Jose Lopez to a tight left hamstring in the second inning. Manager Don Wakamatsu said Gutierrez was away from the ballpark to deal with a family issue and should be able to rejoin the team on Wednesday. Lopez is day to day. Michael Saunders, who normally plays left field, moved over to center and misplayed Viciedo’s RBI double in the first, capping Chicago’s fast start.


NOTES—Mariners DH Mike Sweeney (lower back) took himself out of a Triple-A rehab game Monday but was feeling better Tuesday, according to Wakamatsu. … The White Sox announced that former slugger Frank Thomas has agreed to become a team ambassador. The Big Hurt will make appearances for the organization and join its speakers bureau, which includes Carlton Fisk, Minnie Minoso, Ron Kittle, Bill Melton and Bill Skowron. … Mariners RHP Shawn Kelley (elbow inflammation) tossed 46 pitches during a bullpen session and could throw a simulated game on Friday. 


Sky drop WNBA one season record fifth to Indiana

Chicago Sky
INDIANAPOLIS—Briann January had 15 points and made several key plays in the fourth quarter to lead the Fever to a 78-74 win over the Sky on Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.After starting three of four games to begin the season before suffering a knee injury, January was reinserted into the starting lineup in the Fever’s last game, a 78-73 win over Washington. She had a season-high 19 points and eight assists against the Mystics.Tamika Catchings finished Tuesday night with 16 points and 10 rebounds.The Sky, which trailed by 21 in the first half, got within eight entering the fourth quarter and continued to chip away at the deficit. Sylvia Fowles’ three-point play made it 70-68 with 4:27 left, but January’s jumper pushed the lead back to four.Shay Murphy then hit two free throws for the Sky to make it a two-point game, but January’s 3-pointer stopped the Sky’s momentum again. With Indiana trying to hold a three-point lead in the closing seconds, January had a defensive steal and made a free throw to seal the victory.Indiana (16-7) beat the Sky (12-13) for the fifth time, marking the first time a WNBA team has beaten an opponent five times in the same regular season.Fowles had 18 points and eight rebounds, and Murphy scored 12 for the Sky, who had won four of five entering the game.Catchings and Katie Douglas each scored 10 points in the first half to put Indiana in control. The Fever used a 9-0 run in the second quarter to take their biggest lead, 45-24.The Sky closed to 53-48 on Erin Thorn’s 3-pointer in the third quarter before settling for an eight-point deficit entering the final period.Catchings’ double-double was the 65th of her career, tying her for seventh all-time in league history.The Fever remain one game ahead of Atlanta (16-9) for first place in the Eastern Conference.The Sky,which has never made the WNBA Playoffs, is a combined 0-9 against Division rivals Indiana and New York.


Danks beats King Felix, Sox over M’s 6-1

John Danks is on quite a roll, and right at home facing the American League’s best pitchers.Just ask Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners.Danks pitched eight solid innings to win his fourth consecutive start, helping the White Sox beat Hernandez and the Mariners 6-1 on Monday night.Juan Pierre and Alexei Ramirez each had three hits for the White Sox, who kicked off a seven-game homestand with their season-high eighth consecutive victory at U.S. Cellular Field. It’s their longest home winning streak since a nine-game surge in 2008.Danks (11-7) allowed a run and six hits, improving to 7-2 with a 2.83 ERA in his last nine outings. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA in three starts against Seattle this season, including 7 2/3 crisp innings in a 4-0 victory at Safeco Field last Tuesday.The White Sox grabbed control with two runs in the sixth. Paul Konerko led off with a towering drive down the left-field line for his 22nd homer and Ramirez added a two-out RBI double that made it 4-1.The AL Central-leading Sox almost had a bigger inning but Ichiro Suzuki robbed Mark Kotsay of a two-run homer, hauling in the drive with a perfectly timed leap at the right-field wall.Suzuki was the lone highlight for Seattle, also collecting two hits at the plate. Jack Wilson delivered an RBI single in the third for the Mariners’ only run.Hernandez (7-7) ran his scoreless streak against the White Sox to 25 2/3 innings before Pierre and Omar Vizquel hit consecutive RBI singles with two out in the third, giving the Sox a 2-1 lead.Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez almost cut down Ramirez when he scored on Pierre’s hit, but his throw was a little off, just a tad up the third-base line. The play allowed Pierre to move to second, setting up Vizquel’s at-bat.That was more than enough for Danks, who is closing in on his career-high 13 wins from last year. Suzuki’s infield hit put runners on first and second in the eighth but Danks got speedy Chone Figgins to hit into an inning-ending double play, pumping his left arm as he bounded off the mound toward the home dugout. Hernandez allowed four runs and nine hits in seven innings. He has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last nine starts.The Mariners have scored nine runs in Hernandez’s seven losses this season.Sergio Santos finished the six-hitter as the Sox improved 6-1 against the Mariners this season.


NOTES—Kenny Williams hinted that the White Sox talked to the Diamondbacks about Dan Haren before the right-hander was traded to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. “Yesterday was a little bit of a surprise because that came together very quickly,” Williams said. “Listen, all I can tell you is my phone is right here on my hip. Things happen fast and you’ve got to be prepared to sometimes give very quick answers and decide whether you’re going to go down that road or not.” … Mariners INF Russell Branyan (back spasms) took batting practice and could return to the lineup on Tuesday. … Mariners 1B Justin Smoak (legs) got the day off. 


Silva wins 10th as Cubs beat Astros 5-2

HOUSTON—Carlos Silva wasn’t happy after losing two straight games. He never lost confidence that he could turn things around.On Monday night he got back on track, yielding five hits and one run with four strikeouts to get his 10th win of the season as the Cubs beat the Astros 5-2.Geovany Soto drove in two runs and Alfonso Soriano had two doubles and an RBI to help in the win.Carlos Marmol allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth inning for his 19th save in 23 opportunities.Soto bruised his left foot and left the game in the middle of the sixth inning after fouling a pitch off of it earlier in the game.Piniella said Soto would be doubtful for Tuesday’s game but they hope he can return on Wednesday.Derrek Lee doubled with one out in the third inning and scored when Marlon Byrd grounded into a force out. Byrd scored when Soriano hit his second double of the game that made it 4-1.Soriano doubled in the second inning after Byrd walked. Soto scored both of them with his double to the corner of left field to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead.Ryan Theriot hit his first home run of the season on a solo shot to left field in the sixth inning that pushed the lead to 5-1. It was his first home run since last June, a span of 700 at bats, which was the longest active streak without a homer in the major league.Michael Bourn doubled before scoring on a single by Lance Berkman that made it 1-0 in the first inning. Hunter Pence drove in a run on a single in the seventh inning to get Houston within 5-2.Chris Johnson singled in the first inning to extend his career-long hitting streak to 10 games. He is the first Houston rookie to reach the mark since Luke Scott did it in 2006. He added a second single in the eighth inning.Converted reliever Wesley Wright (0-1) allowed eight hits and four runs in five innings in his second career major league start. He was replaced by Nelson Figueroa, who gave up three hits and a run in two innings.Koyie Hill replaced Soto after he left with the injury.Justin Berg replaced Silva (10-4) and gave up five hits and a run in 1 2/3 innings.

NOTES—Cubs reliever Andrew Cashner met the team in Houston on Monday after staying home in Chicago on Sunday to recover from a sore throat. He received antibiotics and then took a commercial flight to Houston to join the team before Monday’s game. Piniella said he was feeling better after his day of rest and Cashner faced one batter in the seventh inning, retiring Carlos Lee…..Houston RHP Jeff Fulchino, on the disabled list with right elbow tendinitis, started a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Round Rock on Monday. He allowed one hit in a scoreless inning…..The Astros still aren’t sure when RHP Brian Moehler will return after he experienced tightness in his strained right hamstring while throwing a simulated game on Friday…..A fan got removed from the park in the ninth inning when he toppled over the railing and onto the field on his stomach trying to reach for a foul ball.

Cubs fail to sweep Cards who escape 4-3 in eleven on Lopez homer

The Cubs let another chance to sweep a series and gain important ground go by the wayside.The largest Wrigley Field crowd of the season saw Felipe Lopez take Cub newcomer Brian Schlitter deep in the top of the 11th,and the St.Louis Cardinals salvaged the finale of the three game series 4-3.Ryan Dempster escaped trouble in the top of the first after Ryan Ludwick singled with one out, and Albert Pujols walked. Matt Holiday bounced into a 6-4 force leaving runners at the corners,but when Holliday tried to steal second, Geovany Soto threw on down to second and Ludwick broke for home. The relay back to Soto by Starlin Castro was in plenty of time to nail Holliday and end the inning. The the Cardinals second, Jon Jay hit one to very deep right center field which Marlon Byrd broke back on,but could catch up to and it fell in while Jay easily took third. Skip Schumaker line an RBI single to center.After Yadier Molina fanned and Chris Carpenter bunted Schumaker to second, Brendan Ryan(batting ninth like most pitchers in Tony LaRussa’s lineup) singled to left to put St.Louis ahead 2-0. The Cubs got on the board against Carpenter in the bottom of the fourth when Derrek Lee doubled into the LF corner and one out later scored on a single to center by Byrd. After Dempster got the Redbirds in order in the top of the fifth, the Cubs got to Carpenter in the home half. Soto coaxed a walk on which Carpenter came off the mound arguing with Plate Umpire Bob Davidson,but after LaRussa came out to get between them,things settled down.Carpenter though must have been shook up some since Ryan Theriot clobbered one to right center and when Jay dove for the ball,it bounced past him to the warning track for a game tying triple. Two outs later, Castro lined a single to left center to give the Cubs the lead for the first time 3-2. That lasted until Dempster decided to challenge Pujols with a 3-1 fast ball which he deposited into the LF Bleachers for his 23rd homer of the season. With two gone, Schumaker lined a double into the Cub bullpen but after Molina was intentionally walked, Carpenter lined a single to center field, and Byrd,who wasn’t playing that deep,came up throwing and gunned down Schumaker trying to score and preserving the 3-3 tie.The Cubs got one out singles from Byrd and Alfonso Soriano in the bottom of the sixth,but Soto hit into a 6-4-3 DP to kill that inning. The Cards came close in the top of the 7th. Ryan singled,but was caught stealing. Then with two gone,Ludwick singled just over Theriot’s reach. This time Pujols hit one that Soriano caught right in front of the vines near the curve in the wall,and that would end the night for Dempster who was lifted for pinch hitter Mike Fontenot in the bottom of the 7th in which the Cubs went down in order against Carpenter who was also in his final inning.In the Cards 8th,with two gone against Sean Marshall,Schumaker and Molina lined singles and Aaron Miles(booed loudly by Cubs fans who remember the awful one season of 2009 he had as a Cub)bounced into a 6-4 force to end the inning. Jason Motte started the bottom of the 8th for St.Louis and had a 1-2-3 inning. Carlos Marmol was also perfect in the top of the 9th for the Cubs. Cards closer Ryan Franklin started the bottom of the 9th and the Cubs had a chance when Soriano singled with one out,and after Soto flew out to RF, A wild pitch allowed the winning run to advance to second, but Theriot grounded to Pujols. Brian Schlitter came on for the tenth for the Cubs and after getting Pujols on na grounder to 3B, he gave up singles to Holliday and Jay. Schumaker,who wasn’t retired all night,lined a hard single to CF to load the bases but Schlitter got Molina to to hit into a taylor made 4-6-3 DP to keep the game tied. In the Cub 10th against Franklin, Kosuke Fukudome single to RF in his first at bat of the night. Colvin hit a bouncer to Franklin who’s throw pulled Ryan off the second base bag,but Umpire Alfonso Marquez called Fukudome out,giving the Crads a huge break. Castro was hit by a pitch and after Lee popped out to first, Aramis Ramirez hit a bouncer that handcuffed Schumaker for an error,loading the bases,but Byrd looked at a called third strike. Schlitter(0-1)gave up the winning blow to Lopez before the Cardinals got through the Cub 11th despite a leadoff pinch single by Xavier Nady who was forced by Jeff Baker. As Theroit fanned for the second out, as Baker got his first steal of the season. Fukudome then had to face left hander Dennys Reyes who over-matched the Cubs left handed hitter and made him look awful in fanning him to end the game.
NOTES—Attendance was a season high of 41,406…..The Cubs open their road trip in Houston Monday night with Carlos Silva(9-4)trying to bounce back from two bad starts in a row opposing Wesley Wright(0-0).



Back from five days in the Virgin Islands



ST.THOMAS,USVI—It was quite a week here in the Virgin Islands. Kathy and I arrived mid afternoon on Tuesday with heavy rains coming down. Traffic was awful as the natives are not used to that kind of downpour. After checking into the Bolongo Bay Resort,we enjoyed dinner. Wednesday,it rained some more in the morning,but then the sun came out. Thursday was a much more busy day as again a morning rain disappeared and we headed to Downtown Charlotte Amalie for some shopping,then boarded a ferry boat to St.Johns. Kathy didn’t like the hills there too much but we did get some shopping in,then took another ferry to Red Hook,back on St.Thomas. We got in plenty of swimming, tanning and another nice dinner. We returned the rental car after just two days since it wasn’t needed any longer. I did do all the driving since I’m used to doing it on the left side(British style)like they do on all the Virgin Islands. Friday we took a cab back to downtown Charlotte Amalie to check out more places. Then it was back to Bolongo for more sun and dinner. Saturday was the best day weather wise-85* and clear. Of course that figured since we were headed home that evening. At Iggie’s Beach Bar and Grill,there was nice live entertainment that evening in addition to dinner. For the record, I had a New York Strip Steak Tuesday night, A Fillet Wednesday, Prime Rib Thursday and a Skirt Steak with Terryaki Sauce Friday night. Kathy had mostly Lobster and Crab Legs for dinner. The large amount of Virgin Daiquiris came in Lime,Strawberry,Banana,and Mango and I had way more than my share. Had to stay hydrated! And feed the Iguanas was pretty cool(see the photos here on GROBBERNET and click on 2010, then go to pages 3 & 4). Late Saturday afternoon it was time to cab it to Cyril King Airport to fly home.


A’s beat Sox again, take another series at Coliseum

OAKLAND—Dallas Braden won for the first time in 10 starts since his perfect game May 9, ending a five-game losing streak in the Oakland Athletics’ 6-4 victory over the White Sox on Sunday.Kurt Suzuki drove in three runs two days after receiving a $16 million, four-year contract, and Daric Barton hit a two-run single in the second before Suzuki followed with one of his own. Suzuki added another RBI single in the fourth.Paul Konerko gave the Sox an early lead on an RBI double with two outs in the first. After that, Braden (5-7) retired 13 of the next 14 White Sox hitters. This was the lefty’s second start since coming off the disabled list July 20 following a bout with tightness in his throwing elbow.Bradon left in the seventh to a rousing standing ovation, the A’s well on their way to a fourth win in five games and ninth in 11.The nine consecutive starts without a victory after a no-hitter was the longest such streak in major league history.Mark Buehrle – who beat the A’s here Friday night – went eight outings without a win last year after his perfect game on July 23, 2009.Braden showed command of his pitches and seemed unfazed when he fell behind early. The offense quickly provided him everything he needed to finally get back in the win column. Oakland captured its fourth straight series and third since the All-Star break, winning its seventh consecutive day game. The A’s relied on small ball a day after hitting three home runs in a 10-2 win.They added another run on reliever Erick Threets’ wild throw past first trying to pick off a stealing Coco Crisp at first base. Crisp was credited with a stolen base, then easily scored on the two-base error.Braden allowed two of his five hits in the seventh, giving way to Brad Ziegler. Braden struck out five and walked two in 6 1-3 innings.The White Sox got three straight RBI singles in the seventh, from Juan Pierre, Alexei Ramirez and Alex Rios.Former Cub Michael Wuertz finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save. A’s closer Andrew Bailey, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year, was unavailable for the second straight game because of back spasms.Daniel Hudson (1-1) struggled in his third start since being called up from Triple-A Charlotte on July 11. After winning at Seattle on Monday and going a career-best 6 2-3 innings, he was done after throwing 108 pitches in five innings. Hudson allowed five runs, all earned, on six hits, struck out four and walked four.The White Sox return to Oakland from Sept. 20-22.

NOTES—Oakland OF Rajai Davis missed his third straight game with a strained left hamstring. He tested the leg with some running before the game. … With an off day Monday, manager Bob Geren hopes Bailey will be ready by Tuesday’s game at Texas. … White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen supported the choice not to bring back veteran slugger Jim Thome this season, even if the team is in need of a left-handed power hitter. … Oakland LHP Brett Anderson (elbow inflammation) pitched 5 1-3 scoreless innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento at Tacoma. He allowed four hits, struck out nine and walked one. Anderson threw 87 pitches, 53 strikes. … The “Moneyball” movie – based on A’s GM Billy Beane’s innovative approach with Brad Pitt playing Beane – begins filming Monday at the Coliseum. It’s being adapted from the 2003 best seller “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis. Some shooting has already taken place in Los Angeles.

Colvin leads off again with homer, Cubs hold off Cards

Although the Cubs might be too far gone to be big winners this season, rookies Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin and Andrew Cashner have the team excited about their future.Castro and Colvin homered to complete an outstanding first week atop the batting order and Cashner used his triple-digit fastball to pitch out of two late-inning jams Saturday as the Cubs held on for a 6-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.The Cardinals finally scored after being shut out the previous two days but didn’t get enough clutch hits to avoid their third straight loss.They had runners on the corners with nobody out in the seventh when Cashner came on to face Albert Pujols, one of baseball’s most feared hitters. Pujols worked the count full and fouled off two 100 mph fastballs before hitting a deep sacrifice fly to make it 6-4.Asked what he was thinking as Pujols dug in at the plate, Cashner said: “Not giving in. If I’m going to get beat, I’d rather get beat with my fastball.” After Jon Jay was caught stealing, Cashner — who had a sore throat that required postgame treatment — got Matt Holliday to ground out. An eighth-inning error by Theriot let a run score and put runners on first and second. But Cashner got Randy Winn to fly out and Tyler Greene to ground into a double play.Carlos Marmol pitched a hitless ninth for his 18th save. La Russa felt umpire Tim Tschida called out the inning’s leadoff man, Aaron Miles, on a pitch well out of the strike zone.The Cubs, who are eight games under .500 and nine games behind St. Louis, built a 6-3 lead thanks mostly to Colvin and Castro. Since manager Lou Piniella decided last Sunday to put his two youngest position players atop the order, Colvin and Castro have combined to hit .385 with 13 runs and 11 RBI. One of the majors’ lowest-scoring teams, the Cubs have averaged 7.2 runs in the six games since the move, winning four times.Colvin led off with a homer for the second straight day, the first Cubs player to do so since Alfonso Soriano in May 2008. He leads all rookies with 15 home runs.After the Cardinals went up 2-1 on Greene’s two-run second-inning single — snapping their 21-inning scoreless streak — Colvin drew a one-out walk in the third and scored when Castro homered on Blake Hawksworth’s next pitch to put the Cubs ahead to stay.Castro also doubled and singled. He is batting .489 with eight runs and eight RBI in his last 11 games.Colvin is impressed that after hitting .227 in June, Castro is batting .389 in July.Tom Gorzelanny (6-5), in the rotation only because Carlos Zambrano was suspended after a June 25 dugout altercation with teammates, has won his last four starts. He allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings.Hawksworth (4-6) left after allowing fifth-inning singles to Castro and Aramis Ramirez. Mitchell Boggs then walked Marlon Byrd and threw a wild pitch that let Castro score. Catcher Yadier Molina misfired while trying to throw out Castro, and Ramirez came home on the error to put the Cubs up 6-3.Byrd added a third-inning RBI double for the Cubs, who on Sunday will go for their first sweep of the Cardinals in four years.

NOTES—St. Louis RF Ryan Ludwick came off the DL (left calf) and went 1 for 3 with a walk…..On the one-year anniversary of his Cardinals debut, Holliday extended his hitting streak to 10 games but was retired on a soft liner to end the game…..Colvin’s 15 HRs are the most by a Cubs left-handed-hitting rookie since Mel Hall had 17 in 1983…..The Cubs agreed to terms with second-round draft pick Reggie Golden, an outfielder from Wetumpka, Ala



Freddy, Sox clobbered by A’s

OAKLAND—Jack Cust’s patience and penchant for power kept him from making a single out.The Athletics enjoyed every moment of it as he hit two home runs and walked three times to help Oakland beat the White Sox 10-2.Cust hit two home runs and drew three walks in a game for the first time in his career. Kurt Suzuki, who agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the A’s Friday, added a homer of his own and helped the A’s win for the eighth time in 10 games.Daric Barton also drove in two runs, and Kevin Kouzmanoff doubled twice and drove in a run.Freddy Garcia (9-4) lasted a career-low 1 1/3 innings and had his personal six-game winning streak snapped. He gave up five runs on six hits, walking three and striking out two as the White Sox lost for the fifth time in 17 games.Vin Mazzaro (6-2) gave up Ramon Castro’s two-run homer in the second. He allowed three hits over six innings, walking three and striking out five.Mazzaro, who won his fourth straight decision, retired 14 of his final 16 batters, and did not allow a hit after Castro’s home run.Garcia needed a fine running catch by left fielder Juan Pierre to get out of a first-inning, bases-loaded jam. The first four A’s hitters reached base safely against the right-hander.Coco Crisp walked, stole second and scored on Barton’s double. Suzuki singled and Cust walked before Garcia struck out Kouzmanoff and Ellis and nearly avoided further damage when Gross’ foul pop landed safely between Omar Vizquel and Alexei Ramirez before driving in a run with an infield single.Castro’s homer tied the game but the A’s scored three times in the second on RBI hits by Barton, Suzuki and Kouzmanoff.Suzuki and Cust homered in consecutive at bats leading off the fourth against Tony Pena. Cust added his second homer against Scott Linebrink in the eighth. Cust started the season in the minor leagues and then hit two homers over his first 42 games following his May 15 call-up. He’s hit six in his last 10 games and is three away from 100 in his career.Brad Ziegler threw two scoreless innings and Ross Wolf pitched a perfect ninth to complete the combined four-hitter.

NOTES—The A’s improved to an AL-best 23-10 in day games. … The White Sox had won 11 of their last 12 day games. …Alex Rios went 1 for 2 and improved his AL-best day batting average to .434 (43-99). … Garcia also had an eight-game winning streak against AL West teams stopped. … Gross ended an 0 for 16 streak with his infield single in the first. … A’s RHP Ben Sheets was placed on the 15-day DL before the game with a strained right elbow. The A’s recalled Cedrick Bowers to replace Sheets.