White Sox-Athletics Preview
By NOEY KUPCHAN
(AP) -- The Oakland Athletics got back in the win column behind a tremendous effort from one of their promising young arms.
They'd surely love to see a similar performance from top prospect Jarrod Parker as he makes his Oakland debut Wednesday in a getaway day game against the visiting Chicago White Sox.
After falling 4-0 in Monday's series opener, the Athletics (9-10) snapped the White Sox's six-game road winning streak with a 2-0 victory Tuesday. Pinch-hitter Kurt Suzuki drove in the game's first run with an eighth-inning double and 25-year-old rookie Tommy Milone outdueled Gavin Floyd, improving to 3-1 with eight frames of three-hit ball.
"This one stings because your guy pitches such a good game and we couldn't do much on the offensive side," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Their guy pitched a little better. He kept us off balance and we couldn't get anything going off him."
While it's safe to say Milone has exceeded expectations thus far, Parker, the main piece acquired from Arizona in the offseason's Trevor Cahill trade, enters with a potentially higher ceiling.
"I grew up a White Sox fan, so it's going to be cool," Parker, a native of Fort Wayne, Ind., said of his debut.
Though Parker failed to crack the rotation during spring training while struggling with his command, he seemed to work out his kinks at Triple-A Sacramento, where he went 1-0 with a 2.18 ERA while striking out 21 and walking six over four starts spanning 20 2-3 innings.
"He's been pitching well," manager Bob Melvin told the Athletics' official website. "We've always envisioned him being here at some point in time, especially with the stuff he has."
Parker made his major league debut Sept. 27 for Arizona, allowing four hits and a walk over 5 2-3 scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a game the Diamondbacks won in 10 innings.
The 23-year-old right-hander squares off against a White Sox team that had a season-low four hits Tuesday - all singles.
Alejandro De Aza, Brent Lillibridge, Alex Rios, and Paul Konerko, Chicago's first four hitters in the lineup, went a combined 0 for 12. Rios entered Tuesday batting .415 during an 11-game hitting streak.
The White Sox (10-7) will give the ball to Chris Sale (2-1, 3.50), holding his own thus far in his first season in the rotation. The left-hander surrendered three runs, seven hits and three walks while striking out a career-high 11 over 6 1-3 innings of Friday's 7-3 win over Seattle, improving to 2-0 on the road.
"He's got a lot of good stuff," Ventura told the White Sox's official website. "He has quality pitches, but he's just one of those guys you watch pitch and he's not necessarily pinpoint with everything, but he has the velocity and change of speeds that make him difficult."
Sale seems to have a favorable matchup against an Oakland club batting a major league-worst .202.
A's outfielder Coco Crisp is expected to be held out for the seventh time in eight games Wednesday as he tries to fully recover from a recent illness. Crisp's .292 lifetime average against Chicago is his second-highest mark against any AL team.
Updated April 25, 2012