Travis Blackley continued to struggle. However, the Athletics' offense continued to produce.
The result? Another wild victory for the Oakland Athletics.
Jonny Gomes homered, Chris Carter had three hits and the A's beat the White Sox 9-7 in a slugfest. Grant Balfour kicked off the "closer by committee" era by recording his eighth save of the season, as he got A.J Pierzynski to line out to end the game.
Gomes, Carter and Derek Norris all knocked in two runs for Oakland, and Brandon Inge plated the go-ahead run for Oakland. Inge ripped an outside fastball down the right field line to plate Yoenis Cespedes and give Oakland the lead.
In the third inning, Norris hit a low fastball from Francisco Liriano down the left field line for a ground-rule double. Two runs scored, and the A's took a 4-2 lead. Earlier in the inning, Carter ripped a 93 mph fastball into left field for a two-run single.
Oakland led 6-2 in the fourth, but the White Sox battled back. Kevin Youkilis and Tyler Flowers each homered, and after the 7th inning, Chicago led 7-6. However, setup man Matt Thornton came in, and he failed to stop Oakland's offense.
Thornton gave Gomes a curveball right down the middle, and he crushed it into the left-field bleachers. The game was tied, and Oakland wasn't done. They scored on Inge's single and on another hit from Gomes in the ninth, and the A's led 9-7 heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Balfour came on for the save, and he did a nice job after hitting Kevin Youkilis. Balfour didn't give Adam Dunn a good pitch to hit, and he got Dunn to fly out to left. Alex Rios struck out on a great pitch to get another out, and Pierzynski lined out to end the game.
With the win, the A's are now tied with three other teams for first place in the AL Wild Card standings. The White Sox are a half-game ahead of the Detroit Tigers for first place in the AL Central.
Tomorrow, Chris Sale (13-3, 2.59 ERA) will take the hill for the White Sox, while Bartolo Colon (9-8, 3.38 ERA) will pitch for Oakland.