CHICAGO — Nick Allen homered and drove in a career-high five runs, Zach Neal won his first start in seven years and the Oakland Athletics pounded the Chicago White Sox 12-4 on Friday night.
The Athletics (38-91) tagged Dylan Cease for a career-high nine runs on the way to their fourth win in five games. Chicago lost for the 10th time in 13 games.
Meanwhile, two people were shot during the game, according to a New York Times report. There was no word on the condition of those shot, but one woman was bleeding from her leg, according to a fan sitting near her. The game was not stopped because of the incident.
Oakland Athletics’ Nick Allen celebrates in the dugout after his home run off Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Tanner Banks during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 25, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Dropping the first two in a four-game series between two of the worst teams in the majors only added to a rough week for the White Sox (50-79), who fired executive vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn on Tuesday.
Allen hit RBI singles in a five-run second and in the fourth before chasing Cease with a two-run single in the fifth. Allen and Ryan Noda hit consecutive homers in the seventh, the sixth time this season Oakland went deep back to back.
Neal (0-1) went five innings, allowing four runs — two earned — and five hits in his first start since Sept. 6, 2016 for Oakland against Baltimore. The right-hander also picked up his first win since Aug. 9 that year in a start for the Athletics against Baltimore. Neal pitched in Japan from 2019 to 2021 and was in Colorado’s system last year.
Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Zach Neal delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Friday, Aug. 25, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
“It means a lot, man,” a choked-up Neal said. “It’s kind of been my mantra, man, just keep going. You just never know. To do that tonight is super cool and something I’ll remember. Hopefully, it gives other people inspiration, too. Just keep going, man. You never know.”
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Cease (5-7) gave up eight earned runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. The AL Cy Young Award runner-up last season, he has an 8.16 ERA over his past six starts.
“We’ve still got a handful of starts,” Cease said. “At the end of the day, all I can do is flush this one, get to work with Ethan (pitching coach Ethan Katz) and come up with a plan for the next one.”
Lenyn Sosa and Eloy Jiménez homered. But the White Sox committed three errors — two by left fielder Andrew Benintendi in the second.
The already frustrated fans got another reason to vent after the game when the team announced a Vanilla Ice concert was canceled due to technical issues. They let out loud boos and chanted “Sell the team! Sell the team!”
Athletics: Rookie RHP Mason Miller (forearm tightness) could rejoin the team next month, depending on how his next rehab outing goes, manager Mark Kotsay said. Sidelined since May 7, Miller has a 3.38 ERA in four starts. … OF Seth Brown got hit in the head by a pitch in the sixth, but stayed in the game.
The four-game series continues Saturday with the White Sox sending RHP Touki Toussaint (1-6, 5.30 ERA) to the mound and the Athletics going with LHP JP Sears (2-10, 4.61 ERA). Both pitchers are 0-3 in four starts since picking up wins on July 28. Toussaint has an 8.84 ERA in that span, while Sears’ is 8.00.