White Sox 4, Athletics 3
Jordan Danks stepped to the plate in the ninth inning and imagined himself hitting a game-winning home run.
Then he did it.
Danks hit his first major league homer in the bottom of the ninth and the Chicago White Sox overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Oakland Athletics 4-3 on Friday night.
''Being late in the game, especially bottom of the ninth, it's something that everybody dreams about their whole life,'' Danks said. ''Right before that I saw myself doing it and it was just one of those things. It was just awesome.''
With two outs in the ninth, Danks sent the first pitch he saw from Pat Neshek (1-1) deep into the right-field seats for Chicago's fourth solo shot of the game. Dayan Viciedo, A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez also connected.
Brett Myers (1-1) pitched a scoreless inning to help the AL Central leaders win for the 11th time in 16 games. Viciedo tied it at 3 with his homer in the seventh, snapping a 5-for-43 slide.
Before the game, the White Sox placed All-Star slugger Paul Konerko on the seven-day concussion disabled list. The first baseman took an elbow to the right temple area Tuesday on a close play at first and is eligible to return Aug. 17.
''It's not going to be easy not having him in the lineup,'' Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. ''It's the best thing for him to get him back at full strength. We're just going to have to find ways to have guys like Jordan Danks come through in ways like that.''
The White Sox won for the 14th time in 18 home games and maintained a one-game lead over second-place Detroit.
Brandon Moss hit a two-run homer for Oakland.
Brandon McCarthy came off the disabled list to make his first start for the A's since June 19. He had been sidelined with a strained shoulder.
The right-hander was staked to an early 3-0 lead but couldn't hold it, allowing a season-high three home runs.
''You don't see that often, but they were four pitches that were hittable pitches and they took advantage of all of them,'' Athletics manager Bob Melvin said.
Pierzynski extended his career high with his 22nd homer in the second and Ramirez hit a hanging curve out to left in the fourth, his fifth of the year.
''It's sort of nice to look up there and see some good numbers so far,'' Pierzynski said. ''But the biggest thing, we're winning and that makes up for all of it.''
McCarthy, who broke into the majors with the White Sox in 2005, was chased by Viciedo's drive. He went six-plus innings, allowing three runs and six hits.
Moss provided the big early blow for Oakland. After Chris Carter's ground-rule double leading off the second, he hit a towering home run down the right-field line off starter Gavin Floyd to give the Athletics a 3-0 cushion.
Floyd allowed seven runners in the first three innings, but pitched into the seventh. He gave up three runs and seven hits. The White Sox bullpen backed him up with three scoreless innings.
''It's kind of been like that the last couple games,'' Floyd said. ''But it is what it is. I've got to go out there and compete and try to keep the team in the game. It's not always going to be like that, but when it does happen I'm going to battle my butt off to try to put up zeros.''
Oakland got on the board in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Josh Reddick.
NOTES: Oakland announced starting pitchers Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker would be pushed back and LHP Travis Blackley will make a spot start Saturday. Parker is expected to start Tuesday in Kansas City and Milone next Friday against Cleveland. ... The White Sox send LHP Francisco Liriano (3-10, 5.03 ERA) to the mound against Blackley (4-3, 3.30) on Saturday.