Nick Allen went 4-for-5 with a home run and five RBIs to back Zach Neal’s first major league victory in seven years as the visiting Oakland Athletics routed the Chicago White Sox 12-4 on Friday night.
Oakland assured itself of at least a split of the four-game series after out-hitting slumping Chicago 15-6 and capitalizing on three White Sox errors.
The White Sox have lost seven of nine, while the A’s have won four of five.
Neal (1-0) spaced four runs, two earned, and five hits in five innings with three walks and two strikeouts. He yielded a two-run home run to Lenyn Sosa in the second inning and Eloy Jimenez’s solo shot in the fifth, but Oakland’s persistent attack offset the blasts.
Neal earned a win for the first time since Aug. 9, 2016, when he defeated the visiting Baltimore Orioles behind 5 1/3 innings of one-run, two hit ball. Friday marked his first start in the majors since Sept. 6 of that season.
Neal pitched in Japan from 2019-21. The Athletics selected his contract from Triple-A Las Vegas this month.
White Sox righty Dylan Cease (5-7) was tagged for nine runs, eight earned, and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked five and struck out six.
After working through a perfect first inning on nine pitches, Cease couldn’t escape trouble in a five-run second. Brent Rooker drew a leadoff walk and scored three batters later on a Lawrence Butler RBI single.
Allen delivered a two-out RBI single to make it 2-0, but Andrew Benintendi’s error in left field set the A’s up with two runners in scoring position. Ryan Noda followed with a two-run single, and he scored on Zack Gelof’s double.
Tony Kemp had three hits for the A’s, while Noda had three hits and three RBIs. Allen and Noda hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh.
Tim Anderson had two hits for Chicago. He has logged multiple hits in each of his three games since returning from a five-game suspension levied for his role in an Aug. 5 fight at Cleveland.
—Field Level Media
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