- Associated Press - Sunday, May 17, 2015

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The bases empty and two out in the seventh, reliever Fernando Rodriguez fielded a bunt and threw wildly past first for an error that set up Chicago’s winning rally.

Each night is beginning to feel a lot like the last for the Oakland Athletics. Errors and one-run losses are piling up for a last-place club that began the season with high hopes after reaching the playoffs the past three seasons.

Melky Cabrera hit a go-ahead single in the seventh inning after yet another costly error by Oakland, and the White Sox came from behind for the second straight night to beat the Athletics 4-3 on Saturday for their fourth straight win.

“It’s typically a play or two late in the game,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Tonight it’s two outs, no one on, a bunt to the pitcher and all we have to do is throw to first. We throw it away and the inning gets away from us.”

The A’s committed an error in their 13th straight game, the longest streak for the franchise since 13 in a row from April 7-21, 1983.

Billy Butler hit a two-run homer in the first for the A’s, who squandered a lead for the second straight night in losing their third straight game and ninth in 10. They fell to 1-13 in one-run games, and six of the last eight and nine of 12 have played have been decided by a run.

“It seems to be the one inning going against us. Whatever it is I hope we can figure it out and get after it,” Rodriguez said. “I should have just kept it. I can hold him on first. But I didn’t and it changes the whole inning. I made an awful decision there.”

Oakland’s majors-leading 38 errors have led to 27 unearned runs, also most in the big leagues.

Avisail Garcia hit a tying two-run single in the third on a nine-pitch at-bat to back John Danks (2-3). He struck out six in seven innings and won on the road for the first time in four tries.

Chicago used a five-run seventh a night earlier to rally from a 6-2 deficit to win, then won Saturday for the eighth time in 11 games.

Jose Abreu, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a two-out single in the first, followed Cabrera with an RBI double. It was the 37th run allowed by Oakland in the seventh inning this season.

Chicago used four pitchers to get through a rocky eighth. Zach Duke allowed a run before Jake Petricka gave up Butler’s single to put the tying run aboard. Stephen Vogt singled off Dan Jennings, then David Robertson entered and got Brett Lawrie to line out.

Robertson finished 1 1/3 perfect innings for his eighth save and sixth career scoreless appearance at the Coliseum.

“I’ve seen more Billy Butler than I care to,” Danks said of the former Royals designated hitter.

Yet with the way Chicago’s hitters are coming through, Danks noted “there’s no need to panic with this team.”

Adam LaRoche singled to start the sixth and advanced into scoring position on a pair of wild pitches. But A’s starter Jesse Chavez got out of it thanks to a second straight inning-ending double play.

Chavez, who began the season in the bullpen, allowed eight hits and two runs in six innings and has only one win in five starts since joining the rotation April 23.

“It was a battle all day, just within myself,” he said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: Utilityman Ben Zobrist, working back from left knee surgery, is scheduled to run the bases Sunday. He will likely do so again before heading on a rehab assignment Tuesday or Wednesday. He will likely play a couple of games each in the outfield and infield, and perhaps one at DH. If all goes well he could be activated once Oakland returns from its next road trip. … Reliever Eric O’Flaherty (strained left shoulder) “felt good” in his first throwing session Friday, manager Bob Melvin said.

UP NEXT

White Sox: Right-hander Jeff Samardzija was traded to the A’s on July 4 last year from the Cubs, then Oakland sent him back to the other Chicago team in a trade five months later. Samardzija (2-2, 4.38 ERA) will face the A’s on Sunday for the first time. He went 5-6 in 16 starts for his old team in 2014.

Athletics: LHP Scott Kazmir looks for his first May victory after going 0-1 over his first three outings this month. He is 3-6 with a 5.35 ERA in 12 starts against Chicago.


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