CHICAGO – There was almost enough at the end to bring out the brooms, but it wasn’t quite enough.
After an outfield collision in center with two outs in the ninth inning allowed the White Sox to cut the Athletics lead to one run, Eloy Jimenez made solid contact with a pitch to center field. But the hit was right at center fielder Starling Marte, who made the catch to seal a 5-4 victory.
In the end, it was Matt Olson’s two-run homer that kept the White Sox from pulling off the sweep, but by no means was the series lost. Taking 3-of-4 from Oakland, a team they could face in the playoffs, made it one of their better series of the season.
But now Tony La Russa’s club gets a major challenge as they head into the final stretch of their regular season against another team they may very well see in the playoffs.
The Tampa Bay Rays will host the White Sox for three games this weekend at Tropicana Field fresh off a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles. This puts them at an American-League best 75-47 on the season, four games ahead of the White Sox that top spot.
August has been quite good to the Rays, the reigning AL champions, as they’ve gone 12-5 after a 16-8 month of June that’s put them five games clear of the Yankees in the Eastern Division. The White Sox faced Tampa in June and took 2-of-3 games at Guaranteed Rate Field from June 14-16.
Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, and Reynaldo Lopez will get the call on the mound for the White Sox this weekend as they once again play in a series in August that could be a preview of October.