White Sox avoid sweep with victory over A’s

The Sox (37-49) went 3-4 on their West Coast trip.

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Tim Anderson of the White Sox slides safely into second base with a steal against the Oakland Athletics.

Tim Anderson of the White Sox slides safely into second base with a steal against the Oakland Athletics.

D. Ross Cameron/AP

OAKLAND, Calif. — The White Sox avoided what would have been the biggest indictment of this disappointing season — a sweep at the hands of the lowly Athletics.

An 8-7 victory didn’t come without a scare. The A’s scored two in the ninth inning against Gregory Santos and weren’t put away until right fielder Clint Frazier, a defensive replacement, went to his knees to catch Jace Peterson’s fly ball. The A’s got to within a run when Seth Brown’s liner fell in front of Frazier, who slipped coming in for the ball.

“There’s never a dull moment,” said manager Pedro Grifol, who had starter Lucas Giolito warming up in the ninth on his side throwing day because no one else was available after Touki Toussaint, Aaron Bummer, Keynan Middleton, Bryan Shaw and Santos. “We needed every single run, every single at-bat, every single pitch to get this one.”

Eloy Jimenez stayed on a hard-contact tear, Tim Anderson had his second consecutive productive offensive day after the worst slump of his career and Jake Burger showed signs of a revival with two well-cracked hits, including a 443-foot home run, his 18th of the season but only his second in his last 16 games.

Jimenez, though, was pinch-hit for because of an unspecified reason.

“He wasn’t feeling great,” Grifol said. “I have to talk to our trainers, but he’s fine. I wasn’t going to push anything. But it’s not a concern.”

Jimenez appeared to be OK in the clubhouse and gave a thumbs-up when asked about his condition. He had two RBI singles, his fifth straight game with an RBI.

Anderson singled twice, stole a base and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

“TA looks like he’s feeling real good at the plate,” Grifol said. “His hands look good; he looks comfortable and confident.”

Zach Remillard, supplanting veteran Elvis Andrus as the go-to second baseman, drove in two runs with a single and alertly took third on left fielder JJ Bleday’s bobble on the warning track before scoring on Andrew Benintendi’s sacrifice fly.

In short, some good things happened after a walk-off loss Saturday in which so much went wrong and the bullpen got emptied against the 23-63 A’s. That loss followed a 7-4 defeat Friday.

The Sox (37-49) finished a West Coast trip at 3-4, trailing Minnesota (42-43) by 512 games in the soft American League Central.

“We needed that one,” Burger said. “I’m glad we got the job done. We knew we’d have to piece it together bullpen-wise and came out with the good result.”

Kopech to rest on injured list

Michael Kopech landed on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation, and the Sox purchased the contract of Shaw from Triple-A Charlotte.

The Sox also transferred infielder Romy Gonzalez (shoulder inflammation) from the 15-day IL to the 60-day IL.

Grifol said Kopech will return to the rotation at the front end after the All-Star break, which would give him at least 17 days off.

“We just wanted to skip him one more time to make sure he’s ready to go in the second half,” Grifol said.

Full day for Shaw

Shaw, 35, had flight delays, arrived during the game, threw in the bullpen when Toussaint (three runs allowed in 223 innings) got in trouble in the third after perfect first and second innings and pitched the eighth inning.

A’s All-Star designated hitter Brent Rooker hit a two-run homer against Shaw to cut the Sox’ lead to 8-5.

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