Cesar Hernandez and Brian Goodwin stroked two-run hits and the visiting Chicago White Sox opened a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics with a 6-3 victory on Tuesday night.
Promoted Monday from Triple-A Charlotte, rookie Jimmy Lambert (1-1) threw five one-run innings for his first career win. He helped the White Sox (80-58) increase their lead over the second-place Cleveland Indians in the American League Central to 11 games.
The A’s (74-64) squandered a chance to move up in the AL wild-card race, with three of the four teams ahead of them — the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners — all having lost earlier in the evening.
After the teams traded first-inning runs, the White Sox grabbed the lead for good in the fifth on consecutive singles by Eloy Jimenez, Yasmani Grandal and Gavin Sheets.
A fourth straight hit by Leury Garcia loaded the bases. One out later, Hernandez struck a two-run single to right field, giving Chicago a 4-1 lead.
Goodwin’s key hit in the eighth, increasing the advantage to 6-1, came after a two-out double by Yoan Moncada, a walk to Jose Abreu and a Jake Diekman wild pitch.
Oakland got two back in the bottom of the inning on RBI singles by Elvis Andrus and Starling Marte, but Craig Kimbrel avoided further damage before closer Liam Hendriks worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 33rd save.
Making his third career start in his sixth career appearance, Lambert allowed just three hits and two walks. He struck out two.
A.J. Puk (0-3), who took over in the fifth for starter James Kaprielian, was charged with the loss. Puk yielded three runs on five hits while retiring only one batter.
Kaprielian held the White Sox to one run on five hits in four innings. He walked two and struck out four.
A 15-hit Chicago attack featured three hits apiece by Garcia and Moncada, plus two each from Hernandez, Sheets and Luis Robert.
Josh Harrison had Oakland’s only extra-base hit of the game, a leadoff double in the first.
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–Field Level Media