OAKLAND — Luke Gregerson made a bad mistake at the wrong time against the wrong hitter.
Jose Abreu hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to help the Chicago White Sox snap a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
“You try to make him fish, which he definitely does,” Gregerson said. “I don’t think it was really a bad pitch. It was just something he was ready for. He was looking for it. We’ve been doing it to him the whole series, pound him in. It just stayed up a little too much. Any other day it could be a ground out to third base, we get a double play.”
John Jaso and Josh Donaldson hit solo homers off Andre Rienzo for the A’s, who were in line for a season-best seventh straight victory before the bullpen meltdown in the eighth cost Tommy Milone a chance at a win.
Beckham and Conor Gillaspie started the rally with one-out singles against Fernando Abad (0-1), and Abreu greeted Luke Gregerson with a no-doubt drive to left field for his 15th home run of the season.
“We’d been pitching him in all day,” said manager Bob Melvin. “Just left one over the middle of the plate.”
Abreu, a rookie slugger from Cuba, is the fourth player in major league history to hit 15 homers in his first 42 games, joining Wally Berger, Kevin Maas and Wally Joyner.
Gordon Beckham homered on the first pitch of the game for the White Sox, who rallied against Oakland’s bullpen to end a seven-game losing streak at the Coliseum.
Milone was in danger of losing his spot in the rotation before pitching eight scoreless innings against Washington last Friday. He followed that up with another strong performance, allowing one run and five hits in six innings. But he ended up with a no-decision because of Chicago’s late rally.