CHICAGO -- Visiting pitchers are supposed to have trouble against the Chicago White Sox. Not this year.
Jason Giambi hit a three-run homer and Brett Anderson pitched seven impressive innings, sending the Oakland Athletics to a 7-0 victory over Chicago on Thursday.The White Sox are batting just .220 at home, and five of their major league-worst eight shutouts have come at their hitter-friendly park."That's a terrible stat," Paul Konerko said about the poor batting average. "Some statistics lie -- that one doesn't. That's bad."Aaron Cunningham added a two-run shot in the ninth for Oakland, which won the final three games of the four-game series. The White Sox fell to 13-13 at home.Top prospect Gordon Beckham made his major league debut at third base for Chicago, going 0 for 3 with a strikeout. He hit into a fielder's choice in his first at-bat.White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen likes Beckham, but is already sick of the hype surrounding the promotion. How did Guillen think Beckham looked?"Really bad," Guillen said. "He struck out, what am I going to say? He was good? That kid's going to be all right. ... He's just another player. He had a bad day, just like everyone else."Anderson (3-5) won for third time in four starts, giving up five hits and striking out four. Oakland has started four rookies in a row for the third time in team history, the last coming in June 1996."He's going to be a good one," A's manager Bob Geren said. "He's really just learning the game. He's very mature for his age and he's pitching well right now. I think all of them are getting on a roll together, which is what we envisioned."The 21-year-old Anderson pitched in front of his father, Oklahoma State baseball coach Frank Anderson. The Cowboys' season ended with a 6-5 loss in an NCAA regional game Monday."I think this is the first or second time he's seen me pitch," Anderson said. "He never gets to see me pitch because our seasons coincide. He was happy and told me `Good job."The White Sox have struggled all season against new pitchers. Starters facing Chicago for the first time are 7-1 with a 1.52 ERA in 10 games this year."The scouting reports, you believe in them, because they're there for a reason," Guillen said. "The videos are there for a reason. Maybe we try to acknowledge too much who we're going to face, maybe. To me, the philosophy is see the ball, put the best swing on the ball and see what happens."Michael Wuertz and Santiago Casilla finished the seven-hitter.Buehrle (6-2) gave up four runs in eight innings, allowing five hits and three walks, one intentional. He struck out four. Buehrle had gone 101 batters without giving up a walk before issuing a free pass to Cunningham in the second.Kurt Suzuki's sacrifice fly in the fourth gave Oakland a 1-0 lead. It scored Matt Holliday, who doubled.Orlando Cabrera walked to start the sixth and moved up on Adam Kennedy's sacrifice. Buehrle intentionally walked Holliday, and Giambi drove an 0-1 pitch to right for his eighth homer."One bad pitch," Guillen said. "I will take the blame. Every time I walk one guy to face another guy, bad move."Octavio Dotel gave up Cunningham's first homer of the season. Cabrera added a sacrifice fly.The big news before the game was Beckham's arrival. The University of Georgia product made the majors 364 days after he was drafted No. 8 overall by Chicago last summer. At 22, he is the fastest White Sox first-rounder to reach the majors since pitcher Alex Fernandez made it in 58 days in 1990, and the fourth from his draft class to reach the big leagues."I got quite a few text messages," Beckham said. "I wish they came after a win."A natural shortstop, Beckham started at third, where Josh Fields has struggled with his glove and bat. Beckham made eight starts at third base in the minors, six at Triple-A Charlotte.Beckham began the season at Double-A Birmingham and was promoted to Charlotte on May 28. Combined in the two stops, he batted .326 with four homers, 23 doubles and 25 RBIs in 45 games."I felt pretty calm up there," Beckham said. "As calm as could be. I swung at a couple of bad pitches, but I think that came from the anxiety of having my first at-bat in the big leagues."
Oakland OF Ryan Sweeney will have an MRI on his knee Friday. "He's better today," Geren said. "The soreness has decreased." Sweeney is day to day. ... Oakland DH Jack Cust wasn't in the lineup because of a sore back. ... Attendance was 18,219.