for this game

Athletics, White Sox close out series in Chicago

Jun 12, 2011 - 3:20 PM (Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics finish off a painful 10-game road trip this afternoon as they close out a four-game set versus the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

During this stretch the A's have dropped all but one decision, capturing a 7-5 victory in the second game of the series versus Chicago. As a result, the club is now a mere 14-23 on the road and 10 games below .500 overall which leaves them eight games out of contention in the American League West.

On Saturday the Oakland offense struggled with just four hits and the defense was tagged for three errors in a 3-2 setback against the White Sox.

Gio Gonzalez dropped his third straight start as he was touched for all three runs on five hits with an unsightly seven walks and a mere two strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings for the Athletics. Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham each drove in a run in the loss.

"He didn't have his best command but he certainly battled out there tonight," said new Oakland manager Bob Melvin of Gonzalez. "He made pitches when he had to."

Chicago starter John Danks won his second straight outing after going 0-8 in his first 11 starts of the season. On Saturday, he made it through 7 2/3 innings and was charged with four hits and two walks along with four strikeouts for the White Sox, who have won four of six and are now 4 1/2 games out of first in the AL Central.

Ramon Castro hit a solo home run in the victory and Brent Lillibridge made a home run saving catch in the eighth inning to help preserve the triumph.

Aiming for his sixth win of the season is right-hander Philip Humber as he heads to the hill for the White Sox this afternoon. Humber, who won his previous outing against Oakland this season, has tallied two straight wins, with the Sox winning four of his last five appearances.

On Tuesday Humber surrendered just one run on five hits and three walks, while striking out five over the course of 7 2/3 innings in a 5-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners at home.

As for the A's, they've penciled in Guillermo Moscoso as their starting pitcher for the day. The righty, who was with the Texas Rangers organization the last two years but failed to register a single decision, has pitched in five games so far in 2011 and all but one have been on the road.

On Tuesday the 27-year old suffered his second straight setback when he permitted two runs on five hits, two of those being home runs, over the course of five innings in a 4-0 loss to Baltimore.

Oakland's only saving grace so far this season is the fact that the team has a combined ERA of just 3.34 which is the best in the American League heading into play on Sunday. Unfortunately, the team's batting average is second from the bottom in the league at just .239, as their 35 homes runs easily the fewest in the AL.

Since 2008 the series between these two teams has been nip-and-tuck the entire way. But through the last 36 meetings, the squads are locked in an 18-18 tie.