Alexei Ramirez hit a home run in the 10th inning to give the White Sox a 6-5 victory against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.
Ramirez hit a 3-1 pitch from left-hander Bobby Cramer with two outs, his second homer of the game. Ramirez also hit a three-run shot in second inning against A’s starter Trevor Cahill, pitching for the first time since agreeing to a $30.5 million, five-year contract the day before.
Left-hander Chris Sale (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings after right-hander Sergio Santos pitched two perfect innings of relief. Santos has not allowed a run after not allowing a run in spring training.
“Any time you can give them a little bit of left and right, it always works out … I like our matchups,” Santos said. “I feel we have guys who can go multiple innings now, we’re not just all one-inning guys.
“So we’re all feeling good, we’ll all feeding off each other and hopefully this gets us going.”
Designated hitter Adam Dunn returned to the Sox lineup, batting third in his customary spot. Dunn had an appendectomy last Wednesday and has missed six games.
The appearance was the $56 million free agent’s first at U.S. Cellular Field, and he said he felt 100 percent.
“If I couldn’t go full force, they wouldn’t want me out there,” Dunn said before the game. “It’s ready to rock, ready to go.
A night after making a costly error in left field, Juan Pierre scored a run and singled in Ramirez in the sixth inning to forge a 5-5 tie. After that, Santos and Sale each pitched two scoreless innings as the game turned into a pitchers’ duel.
Sox starter Edwin Jackson, coming off a masterful 13-strikeout performance against the Tampa Bay Rays, had major problems with his location in first two innings. Jackson threw 36 pitches to the first six A’s batters and had no command of his slider, which was a devastating pitch against the Rays. Mark Ellis’ RBI double accounted for the Rays’ early run.
Jackson was lifted after 4 2/3 innings and 100 pitches, one out shy of qualifying for a win. Ramirez booted a grounder that would have been the third out, and Jackson appeared visibly annoyed, walking off the field with his hands on his hips.
“I don’t know any starter that is going to be pretty happy going 4 2/3 innings,” Jackson said. “It’s definitely not helping the pen out and you want to be in there as long as possible. But it’s part of the game and one of those things.”
Will Ohman got the third out of the inning, but the A’s took the lead in the sixth on a two-run homer by Kevin Kouzmanoff against Tony Pena.
Ramirez, a notoriously slow starter in April, has eight hits in his last 23 at-bats. It was the first game-ending home run and multihomer game of his career.
“I’m really happy I put in the hard [off-season] work in Miami,” Ramirez said. “As of right now I’m not happy with the defensive side of it but I compensate with the offense and hopefully everything will come together soon.”
In other news, the Sox announced before the game that outfielder Lastings Milledge cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to AAA Charlotte. General manager Ken Williams said he was glad to have Milledge in the organization and talked to the former first-round pick about working on his defense in the minors.