A’s draw bead on road series win over White Sox

The Oakland Athletics will go for a series victory when they face the Chicago White Sox in the finale of a four-game set Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Oakland (40-37) rallied for a 7-6 victory Saturday to post its second win in the past three games against the White Sox. The A’s have won six of their past seven games and have started a 10-game road trip with an impressive record of 4-1.

Meanwhile, Chicago (25-51) is sliding quickly in the opposite direction. The White Sox have lost nine of their past 10 games and dropped to 7-16 in one-run games after Saturday’s defeat.

Oakland has enjoyed its recent visits to Chicago’s South Side, winning eight of its last 13 games at the ballpark.

The latest win came thanks in large part to the heroics of outfielder Nick Martini, who grew up in the Chicago suburb of Crystal Lake and attended White Sox games as a kid. Martini singled in the go-ahead run for his first big league hit Saturday, and he figures to have another contingent of family and friends in the stands on Sunday to support him.

Martini was called up from the minors before Saturday’s contest and promptly appeared in his fourth big league game.

“I told my family immediately,” Martini said when asked about getting the call to the majors. “I was like, ‘Hey, I’m going to be in Chicago this weekend. Everybody was super-stoked.”

The A’s will turn to right-hander Paul Blackburn (1-1, 8.03 ERA), who will make his fourth start of the season. Blackburn has posted a 4-2 record with a 4.06 ERA in 13 career starts. He never has faced Chicago.

The White Sox will counter with left-hander Carlos Rodon (0-2, 4.41 ERA), who also will make his fourth start of the 2018 season. The 25-year-old was sidelined for the first couple months of the season because of a biceps injury.

Rodon allowed two earned runs in each of his first two starts before giving up four earned runs in his most recent outing. He is 1-1 with a 4.67 ERA in three career starts against the Athletics.

One bright spot for the White Sox is shortstop Tim Anderson, who has homered in back-to-back games. His latest blast cleared the wall in right field and marked his 13th home run of the season.

“He’s seeing the ball very well, obviously,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “Having some good at-bats, getting some pitches he can handle and he’s obviously driven a few balls out of the ballpark.”

Anderson, who turned 25 on Saturday, has focused more on delivering power to all fields.

“The more I grow, the better hitter I become,” Anderson said. “I’m going to keep working.”

For Oakland, closer Blake Treinen has converted 14 consecutive save opportunities. In his last 21 appearances, he has a 0.73 ERA.