Athletics 4, White Sox 0
White Sox offense offends
Recently sizzling bats fall silent; A's, Gaudin salvage final game of series
But those were the White Sox's lone highlights Wednesday night as unheralded Chad Gaudin stopped their recent offensive momentum cold in a 4-0 loss at U.S. Cellular Field.
Although Gaudin isn't as highly touted as Dan Haren or the oft-injured Rich Harden on the Athletics' pitching staff, he has become particularly stingy against the Sox.
"He didn't throw anything in the middle of the plate, but he didn't walk anybody," Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said. "That sums it up."
Gaudin's performance was impressive against a Sox offense that believed it had remedied its struggles after scoring 34 runs in its last four games.
"We weren't laying off his high fastball," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He kept the ball high and in, and we couldn't lay off all night on that pitch. You have to give him credit. Before this game, we were swinging well. He had a heck of a game."
In two starts against the Sox this season, Gaudin (4-1) has allowed one run on eight hits in 13 innings. In six career games, including four relief appearances, Gaudin has surrendered two earned runs in 17 2/3 innings against them.
Gaudin pitched to the minimum 18 batters over the first six innings and retired 16 in a row until walking Jim Thome with two outs in the seventh.
The Sox didn't advance a runner as far as second base until A.J. Pierzynski and Juan Uribe hit consecutive singles with one out in the eighth. Erstad was erased on a double play to end the first inning, and Dye was thrown out easily trying to stretch a single into a double for the first out of the second.
Gaudin was lifted after Rob Mackowiak hit a drive near the top of the right-field wall in the eighth. Pierzynski retreated to second as it appeared right fielder Nick Swisher might make a catch, but the ball eluded Swisher. Pierzynski advanced only to third, and Uribe had to stop at second.
Left-hander Jay Marshall, a Rule 5 selection from the Sox organization last December, relieved Gaudin and calmly retired pinch-hitter Pablo Ozuna and Erstad to halt the rally.
The Sox were blanked for the third time this season and the first since April 28 against the Los Angeles Angels.
Gaudin, a 34th-round selection by Tampa Bay in the 2001 draft, was used exclusively as a reliever last season, posting a 3.09 ERA in 55 appearances.
The victim of Gaudin's success was Sox starter Jon Garland, who had his three-game winning streak snapped.
Although Garland walked only one, several Oakland hitters worked deep counts and ran up Garland's pitch count to 106 after six innings.
Trailing 2-0, Garland came out to pitch the seventh, but Jason Kendall singled and Hiram Bocachica homered. After retiring Shannon Stewart on a grounder, he was pulled.
"I tried to give him another out," Guillen said of his decision to let Garland start the seventh. "He was feeling good. Before that, he was down only two runs. But that type of club, they wear you out. They make you throw strikes."
Bocachica was starting in place of rookie outfielder Travis Buck, who was a late scratch because of a sore right elbow. The Athletics also played their second consecutive game without Gold Glove third baseman Eric Chavez, who is suffering from right elbow tendinitis that bothers him when throwing.