CHICAGO (AP) -- Barry Zito dominated the best team in baseball --
"The story tonight was Barry. That's two in a row against the
White Sox. He went out and gave us two hits. He was just
outstanding with everything," Athletics manager Ken Macha said.
After signing a three-year contract extension with the Athletics
before the game, Kotsay hit a three-run homer in the seventh.
With Oakland leading 2-1, Nick Swisher led off the seventh by
reaching on third baseman Pablo Ozuna's second error of the game.
Two outs later, Jason Kendall singled up the middle. Then Kotsay
followed with his seventh homer of the season off White Sox starter
Mark Buehrle, giving the Athletics a 5-1 lead.
"If he buries that changeup down and in against me they're out
of that jam and in the game at 2-1. He just didn't locate it,"
Eric Chavez added a two-run homer in the ninth for the
Athletics, who have won 12 of 15 and improved to 6-2 against the
majors' winningest team.
The game featured a matchup of two of the best left-handers in
the league and Zito outpitched Buehrle (10-3) for the second time
Despite being pushed back a day after complaining of pain in his
ribcage after throwing a season-high 124 pitches Sunday, Zito (6-8)
looked strong. His curveball was effective and he didn't give up
his second hit of the game until a leadoff single to Scott
Podsednik in the sixth inning. Zito allowed a double to Tadahito
Iguchi in the first inning.
"It was similar to last game. We had a two run lead and then we
opened it up late. I think earlier in the year getting no run
support helped me pitch in close ball games," Zito said.
Zito allowed just one run and improved to 7-2 against the White
Sox in his career. He struck out six and walked three. He fooled
the White Sox with his curveball and changeup.
"He's an outstanding pitcher. His last four or five starts he's
pitching like the old Barry Zito," Buehrle said. "It's not like
we're going out there facing some 'Joe Blow' that can't get guys
out. He's a Cy Young winner, he's getting back to form and he is
going to be tough in the second half."
Buehrle had his nine-game winning streak snapped last Sunday in
a 7-2 loss at Oakland after giving up seven runs and a career-high
14 hits over 6 1/3 innings.
His struggles continued against the Athletics on Saturday.
Buehrle allowed five runs -- two earned -- on six hits in seven
innings. He struck out three and walked two. Buehrle is 2-8 against
the Athletics in his career and two of his three losses this season
have came against Oakland.
Iguchi followed Podsednik with a walk in the sixth and they
moved up on a double steal. Frank Thomas drove in Podsednik on a
sacrifice fly. Zito held Iguchi at third by getting Paul Konerko to
pop out and he struck out Aaron Rowand on a high fastball ending
"I was a little disappointed with the way we played today. I
think as team it was a really weak effort. We're better than this.
I saw that everyone [looked] flat in the dugout and in the field,"
said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who was also upset that
starting shortstop Juan Uribe didn't run out a flyball in the
Bobby Kielty and Eric Byrnes hit back-to-back doubles off
Buehrle in the second inning. Kielty scored on Byrnes' double.
Then, Ozuna couldn't handle Keith Ginter's grounder at third and
Byrnes scored from third giving the Athletics a 2-0 lead.
Oakland padded their lead in the eighth when White Sox reliever
Bobby Jenks walked Scott Hatteberg with the bases loaded to score
Kielty. Ellis had an RBI fielder's choice and Kendall had a
run-scoring grounder to make it 8-1.
Buehrle retired 11 straight before giving up a leadoff single to
Kotsay in the sixth inning.
Kotsay's deal supercedes the final year of his current
contract, a five-year deal through the 2006 season. He was 2-for-5
with three RBI. ... The White Sox had their seventh sellout of the
season. ... Kendall was 3-for-5 for Oakland. ... Ozuna started at
third for Joe Crede. Crede is day-to-day with a sore back.