Monday night was Jesse Chavez's turn - not simply to pitch, but to send another parade of hitters trudging back to the dugout in frustration. It's a familiar scene these days in Oakland. The A's won again, their fifth consecutive victory, this time 5-4 over the White Sox. Chavez threw eight strong innings, following fellow starters Drew Pomeranz, Tommy Milone, Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir to the mound in rampant stinginess. They collectively have posted a 1.29 ERA during this winning streak. "We've been getting consistent performances from all five starters all season," manager Bob Melvin said. "It's nothing new." Chavez extended this especially effective run on a warm night at the Coliseum, where the game-time temperature was 75 degrees and the crowd was generously announced at 10,120. He baffled Chicago hitters with his customary array of pitches darting this way and floating that way. Chavez, remember, had made only two career starts before this season (both with Toronto in 2012). Now the A's are 7-1 when he takes the ball; Monday night's win improved his record to 3-1 and dropped his ERA to 2.44. He got stronger as the game went along - Chavez retired 10 consecutive batters before Jose Abreu led off the ninth with a solo homer, ending Chavez's bid for his first career complete game. "Honestly, it was probably the best I've felt all season," he said. "Just the number of pitches working and throwing to both sides of the plate." Chavez's departure led to some tense moments. Adam Dunn's walk (against Fernando Abad) and Dayan Viciedo's double (off Jim Johnson) put a scare into the A's, and Alexei Ramirez made it even scarier when his RBI single trimmed Oakland's lead to 5-3. Sean Doolittle replaced Johnson and allowed a sacrifice fly to Paul Konerko before striking out Tyler Flowers and Leury Garcia to end the game. Doolittle unleashed pure, howling heat, and Flowers and Garcia flailed in frustration. The A's received an offensive boost from Josh Reddick, who had two hits (including an RBI triple) and scored two runs. Reddick did his damage while batting ninth for the second time this season, partly because he entered the game in a 4-for-32 rut and partly because Chicago started left-hander John Danks. Reddick also walked ahead of Josh Donaldson's go-ahead homer in the fifth, and then Reddick's bunt single in the seventh sparked a rally capped by Jed Lowrie's two-run double.
Jesse Chavez sharp as A's beat White Sox
San Francisco Chronicle | May 13