Brooke Lemke – 23 Sports

In the best-of-three Wild Card Series, the Oakland Athletics delivered a strong performance in the final two games against the Chicago White Sox, winning the series 2-1 and advancing them to the ALDS for the first time in 14 years. 

The White Sox took an early claim on the series, winning the first game 4-1. Lucas Giolito, who threw a no-hitter earlier this season, started on the mound for Chicago. The Sox scored in the second off a home run by Adam Engel, then off a two-run drive by Jose Abreu. Giolito pitched a phenomenal outing, throwing 100 pitches and not allowing a runner on base until the seventh inning. Yasmani Grandal hit a home run for the White Sox in the top of the eighth, and the A’s answered back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single. The White Sox won game one 4-1.

Oakland commanded the pace for Game Two. The A’s loaded the bases in the bottom of the first and took advantage of a fielding error by Nick Madrigal to score two runs. In the second, the A’s doubled their lead to four off a two-run home run by Marcus Semien. Chris Davis continued the rally in the bottom of the fourth with a deep drive to left center. 

The White Sox put up a fight in the last two innings of Gam Two. Grandal earned his second home run of the series, giving the Sox their first two runs of the night. With the bases loaded in the ninth and the winning run at the plate for Chicago, Jake Diekman walked in a run, but that was all Chicago could manage in the ninth. The final score of game two stood at 5-3, with the A’s forcing a Game Three to win the Wild Card.

The White Sox answered back from their slow start in Game Two. Luis Robert drilled a monster home run into the upper decks of left field, giving the White Sox a 1-0 lead in the second. Robert drove McCan home from second on a base hit up the middle in his next at-bat, then Robert scored on an RBI hit from Mazaran. After three innings, the White Sox held a 3-0 lead. 

In the bottom of the fourth, Sean Murphy put the A’s on the board with a two-run homer. The White Sox struggled with pitching in the fourth. Matt Foster walked two consecutive batters home, which gave the A’s a one run lead. In the top of the fifth, the White Sox tied the score on an RBI single by Nomar Mazara. Chad Pinder drove in two more for the A’s in the bottom of the fifth. The final score sat at 6-4, advancing the Athletics in the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

For the White Sox, the series loss to the A’s ended their season. The White Sox ended their season in second place in the AL Central with a 35-25 overall record. The Wild Card Series win for the A’s advanced them to the Division Series against the Houston Astros, which starts with two home games on Monday, Oct. 5th.

About Smith, Kayler (MU-Student)

View all posts by Smith, Kayler (MU-Student)