CHICAGO (AP) — Seth Brown hit two solo homers, Stephen Piscotty hit a three-run shot, and James Kapriellian pitched six strong innings as the Oakland Athletics beat the Chicago White Sox 7-3 on Friday night for their season-high fourth straight win.
Elvis Andrus also homered for Oakland, which improved to 7-2 since the All-Star break.
Brown hopped on an early morning flight to make it to Chicago in time to play after the birth of his newborn son, Cannon.
“As I was running, I just knew my wife was holding my son,” Brown said.
Brown said he was given one of the baseballs he blasted to take home as a keepsake for his son.
The first baseman estimated he’d only slept five or six hours over the last couple of days, but said he was “so behind on sleep that I’m not that tired.”
“We were joking with (Brown) before the game that now he’s got dad strength,” Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said. “He shows up and hits two of the hardest balls all season.”
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and manager Tony La Russa were ejected in the seventh inning after a heated argument with umpires over a called strike that appeared to be high. That call and ensuing ejections by home plate umpire Nick Mahrley elicited boos from a dissatisfied crowd of 28,503.
La Russa didn’t get into details on his ejection, but said he was “disappointed in the umpire” over Anderson’s ejection.
“I don’t think Tim cursed him or anything,” La Russa said. “If you don’t allow a player to be emotional, (and) you have a bunch of robots out here playing, that’s not entertaining. That at-bat, I thought the pitches were questionable. He got upset. I think you need to allow players to spark, as long as they don’t cross a line. And that thing escalated before Tim did anything. He’s fired up. That’s the way he plays. That’s the way you’re supposed to play.”
The tip of Anderson’s helmet appeared to make contact with Mahrley, but La Russa said he didn’t see that.
“I know I think I saw the umpire moving forward quite a bit, which they’re taught not to do that,” La Russa said. “I didn’t see any contact that I know.”
Chicago, a preseason favorite to win the AL Central, lost its second straight to fall below .500 (49-50).
Ramón Laureano got on base in the second after José Abreu dropped the ball on a routine throw from third and Andrus followed with a single before Piscotty’s home run gave Oakland a 3-1 lead.
Brown and Andrus ended the night for Lance Lynn (1-4) by homering twice in three at-bats in the sixth. Lynn went 5 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on six hits. He struck out eight and walked none.
Kaprielian (2-5) got Yasmani Grandal to chase an outside slider to escape the sixth as Chicago threatened with runners on second and third. The 2015 first-round draft pick allowed one earned run and four hits, striking out four and walking one.
His triumphant yell after fanning Grandal was audible from the press box, though Kaprielian said he was just “doing my job.”
“Those are the best moments in the game for me,” Kaprielian said. “I want to be there in that situation. Leadoff double, my mentality is, ‘Get comfortable over there.’ Obviously not saying that to the guy, but that’s my mentality.”
Chicago’s Josh Harrison cut the deficit to 5-3 in the seventh with a two-run blast to left-center.
Brown hit another solo homer in the eighth for his second career multi-home run game. He hit two against Houston last October.
Andrus scored another run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Nick Allen to complete the scoring.
AJ Pollock doubled to left, then scored on Abreu’s grounder past Brown to give Chicago a first-inning lead.
RHP Adam Oller will start Sunday’s series finale, manager Mark Kotsay said, which means Frankie Montas may have pitched his last game with Oakland on Wednesday.
The Yankees are reportedly among the potential suitors for Montas, who has been the subject of trade rumors ahead of the Aug. 2 deadline. The 29-year-old is 4-9 with a 3.18 ERA in 19 starts this season.
Athletics: RHP Dany Jiménez (strained right shoulder) was set to throw in relief with Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday and Sunday. Kotsay said he would “reconvene” with Jiménez after the weekend before deciding his next step. ... INF Jed Lowrie had a scheduled night off after returning from a rehab assignment with Las Vegas on Wednesday. Kotsay said he will play 2B Saturday and DH on Sunday.
White Sox: RHP Davis Martin was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte. ... RHP Parker Markel was outrighted to Charlotte. ... OF Luis Robert was scratched from a rehab game with Triple-A Charlotte due to cold symptoms. La Russa said the earliest Robert could rejoin the team is on Monday against Kansas City. ... La Russa said RHP Joe Kelly could return to the bullpen Saturday after leaving Wednesday’s game in Colorado with right biceps discomfort. ... La Russa opted to rest INF Andrew Vaughn, but said he’d play Saturday and Sunday.
Oakland’s Paul Blackburn (6-6, 4.35 ERA) is slated to start against Johnny Cueto (4-4, 2.89 ERA) on Saturday night.
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