Oakland vanquishes playoff demons, ousts White Sox 6-4

BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

The Oakland A’s finally exorcised the ghosts of playoff failure Thursday afternoon, coming back from an early 3-0 deficit to record a wild card series clinching 6-4 win over the Chicago White Sox at the Coliseum.

It wasn’t easy, as the four-hour plus game in 90° weather required 17 pitchers, with both starters gone before the second inning was over, but the resilient A’s were ultimately able to score their first victory in a postseason series since 2006 when they beat Minnesota in the ALDS. The win snapped a streak of nine consecutive losses in winner-take-all games for the Athletics.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
A’s players celebrate their 6-4 wild card series clinching victory over the Chicago White Sox Thursday afternoon at the Coliseum. It’s Oakland’s first postseason series win since 2006 and sets up a showdown with the Houston Astros in a five-game ALDS starting Monday at Dodger Stadium.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Sean Murphy is greeted by Marcus Semien following his two-run fourth inning home run aginst the White Sox in the deciding game of their wild card series at the Coliseum Thursday afternoon.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
A’s closer Liam Hendriks exults after striking out Nomar Mazara for the final out of Oakland’s 6-4 wild card clincher against the Chicago White Sox Thursday afternoon at the Coliseum. The win propels the A’s into the ALDS at Dodger Stadium starting Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Chicago’s Luis Robert flips his bat following a monsterous 487-foot home run in the second inning of the White Sox 6-4 loss to the Athletics in the deciding game of their wild card series at the Oakland Coliseum Thursday afternoon.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
White Sox slugger Jose Abreu ducks out of the way of a pitch during Chicago’s season-ending 6-4 loss to the A’s at the Oakland Coliseum Thursday afternoon.

Next up for Oakland is a date with division rival Houston in a five-game ALDS at Dodger Stadium. The series starts on Monday and will not have any off days. The A’s won the season series with the Astros 7-3.

GAME NOTES:

The win was Oakland’s first in a postseason game after trailing by three or more runs since 1988.

Chicago’s Tim Anderson became the first player in MLB history with nine hits in his first three career postseason games. He also joins Lou Brock of the 1968 St. Louis Cardinals as just the second player ever to have three hits in three consecutive postseason games.

Thursday’s match-up was the first winner-take-all game in the White Sox history.

About Daniel Gluskoter

Daniel Gluskoter is the Martinez Tribune's national music and sports editor and a Bay Area photojournalist who's work has been featured in Rolling Stone, Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2008 Presidential campaign as a correspondent for United Press International and has travelled worldwide covering events ranging from numerous Super Bowls and Olympics to Live Aid and the Grammys.

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