New manager Melvin can't halt A's skid
Different day. Different city. Different manager.
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Melvin replaced Bob Geren earlier in the day, but the change couldn't keep Oakland from its 10th straight defeat.
''It's always about winning,'' Melvin said. ''It would have been nice to go home tonight and get some sleep knowing that we won a game, but we'll come back out and battle tomorrow.''
Mark Buehrle (6-4) threw seven strong innings and improved to 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA in his last seven starts. He allowed seven hits and three runs for the White Sox, who have won six of their last nine and 20 of 32.
''When the weather seems to get warm, we're starting to play a lot better,'' Buehrle said. ''We've got a lot of warm weather ahead of us.''
Dunn was back in the lineup after sitting out two games because of a miserable start in which he has hit . 176. He was hit by a pitch and scored in Chicago's three-run second. He homered for the first time since May 24, a two-run shot in the third.
''That felt good,'' Dunn said. ''You're out there after having a series off. You're eager to get back in there and be able to contribute.
''We haven't been clicking on all cylinders all year. Hopefully this will be the start of something cool.''
Trevor Cahill (6-4) lasted just 2-2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. He was unlucky to an extent, allowing four infield hits on dribblers in front of the plate. But he also walked three, hit a batter and allowed Dunn's two-run blast.
''It was tough,'' Cahill said. ''I thought I made a few good pitches they were putting in play. Then I fell behind. My goal this game was not to walk anybody and I walked in two runs, which doesn't really help out.''
It was a rocky introduction for Melvin, who went 493-508 in previous managerial stops in Seattle and Arizona. The Athletics, who entered last in the AL with 223 runs scored, scored three runs or less for the fifth straight game, and eighth time during their skid. Oakland last lost 10 straight from July 28 to Aug. 7, 2008.
''Obviously, you want to win the game,'' Melvin said. ''I thought Cahill threw the ball pretty well. There were some hits that he made good pitches on. Dunn's ball was the one that did the most damage. I don't think the numbers reflect how well he pitched.''
Even though Melvin has managed over 900 games from big-league dugouts, he said he still was nervous at the game's outset.
''No question,'' Melvin said. ''Excitement, butterflies, the whole bit. If I didn't, I wouldn't have a pulse.''
In the second, the White Sox loaded the bases on A.J. Pierzynski's walk, Alex Rios' single and Dunn's hit by pitch. After Oakland third baseman Adam Rosales dropped a foul pop, Omar Vizquel hit a sacrifice fly to right to plate Chicago's first run.
Gordon Beckham reached on a tapper in front of the plate, reloading the bases. Juan Pierre walked in a run, and then Alexei Ramirez hit a dribbler up the third-base line that Cahill was unable to handle, scoring the inning's third run.
''(All the infield hits) were tough, especially for a lineup like (Chicago's),'' Cahill said. ''Eventually, they'll break through. I felt like I was making quality pitches at times.''
As maddening as that inning was for Cahill, the third was more of the same — at least after Dunn's two-run shot to barely cleared the left-field fence for his sixth homer.
''He'll end up the season with his 40 home runs like he usually has,'' Buehrle said.
Vizquel followed that with another short dribbler to reach first. Beckham singled and Pierre reached on yet another infield hit to load the bases. Ramirez drew a walk to score Vizquel, a fitting end to a frustrating night for Cahill, who gave way to reliever Bobby Cramer.
''I felt like my stuff was decent, I just couldn't get anybody out,'' Cahill said.
Cahill is now 0-4 in his past six starts.
Meanwhile, Buehrle allowed Rosales' run-scoring single in the second, the last of three straight singles for Oakland. He then settled down to throw 4-2/3 scoreless innings, allowing only a walk and an infield single in the third.
''I did like the way just didn't lay down and die,'' Melvin said. ''We kept grinding our bats and kept hustling out there.''
Notes: Oakland rookie Jemile Weeks drove in his first career run on a bloop single in the ninth. ... Quentin extended his hitting streak to 11 games, while Konerko extended his to 10. ... Dunn's homer was the 360th of his career, breaking a tie with Johnny Mize for 74th on the career list. ... Saying he was glad to be back in the lineup, Dunn said that during his rest he learned ''(I) don't like sitting out.'' Manager Ozzie Guillen had a request for Dunn: ''I asked, 'Could you please have a good day so then they don't have to ask me anymore questions about you? Please have a good day so (hitting coach) Greg Walker doesn't have to drink a bottle of wine to forget about your bad night?''' ... Buehrle struck out four, moving within two of tying Wilbur Wood for fourth on Chicago's career strikeout list.