In a game that started slowly for the Oakland Athletics for the first 5 innings, Josh Donaldson changed the entire ballgame with one swing of the bat.
Donaldson's sixth inning grand slam lifted the A's to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox. The victory, along with a 6-1 Texas Rangers loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, have put the A's in first place in the American League West.
The game started slowly for starting pitcher Jarrod Parker. The White Sox scored first in the third inning on a Tyler Flowers home run in the third inning. Flowers ended the night 3-for-3 before being subbed out in the ninth inning. The Sox scored in the fourth and fifth innings and jumped to a 3-0 lead.
Chris Sale struggled in the sixth inning when he allowed Adam Rosales and Jed Lowrie to reach base, followed by a Yoenes Cespedes walk to get to Donaldson. Sale hung a 1-1 fastball and Donaldson didn't miss as the ball traveled over the right field wall. It was Donaldson's first career grand slam. His ninth home run of the season, and the A's first grand slam of the year. Donaldson has 41 runs batted in this season to lead the A's.
Parker got a much needed shutdown inning in the seventh. Closing out his fifth win of the season, and sixth straight quality start. Ryan Cook allowed his first two batters to get on base, but shut the door to earn his ninth hold of the season.
Grant Balfour came into the game in the ninth inning and started it by striking out Dayan Viciedo. The next at bat, Conor Gillaspie took a 1-2 fastball to right field. It could have tied the ballgame until Josh Reddick made a spectacular game saving catch to rob Gillaspie of his fourth home run of the season. That catch also helped Balfour earn his 15th straight save to start the season. Balfour last blew a save in April of last season.
The A's continue to stay hot with their third straight win. The A's are also 5-0 against the White Sox this season with two games left in the season series. The White Sox have lost 10 of their last 11 games. The A's are 18-3 in their last 21 games.