The more things change, the more they stay the same for the White Sox on the West Coast.
Despite a dramatic, two-out ninth inning home run by Jose Valentin to tie the game, Oakland prevailed in the bottom of the 12th, 6-4, on a two-run homer by Bobby Kielty.
Hoping to remove yet another albatross from around their necks, the Sox fell in the first game of a five-game West Coast trip.
The Sox are 7-34 combined in Oakland, Anaheim and Seattle since 2001 and 1-12 in Oakland.
Minnesota's 16-4 win over Tampa Bay cut the Sox lead in the Central Division to 1 1/2 games.
The right-hand-dominant Sox lineup normally feasts on lefties, owning a major-league leading .313 batting average and .393 on-base percentage. But they managed only six hits--exactly one each inning--against Mark Redman. Three of the hits were for extra-bases with a Paul Konerko home run in the fourth and doubles by Willie Harris and Juan Uribe.
Frank Thomas hit a two-run home run off former Sox reliever Chad Bradford in the eighth to cut it to 4-3.
Esteban Loaiza had his modest two-game winning streak halted, giving up four runs on nine hits. There was a span in the second, third and fourth innings when Loaiza gave up hits to six of eight hitters.
Oakland helped out Loaiza by having four runners thrown out on the bases during that span.
Jermaine Dye scored the first run on a Bobby Crosby double in the second, then added his first homer since May 19, a two-run blast, in the sixth.
Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez had to leave the game with a bruised right hand after getting hit by a pitch from Damaso Marte in the 11th inning.
The Sox were without right fielder Magglio Ordonez, still nursing an strained upper calf muscle.
Ordonez doesn't think he will need to go on the disabled list, but he conceded that if he's not back in the lineup in Seattle on Friday, it might have to be an option.
"I'll just wait a couple more days and if I don't feel better then I guess I'll have to go on the DL," Ordonez said before Tuesday night's loss to the A's. Ordonez, who strained a muscle at the top of the calf behind the knee while hitting against Texas May 25, thought he would be back in the lineup after one day off. Six games later, he wonders when he will feel good enough to play again.
"I never thought it would be this long," he said. "You get frustrated. You want to play and you can't because it's sore."
Even though he hasn't been playing, Ordonez was the source of speculation over the weekend.
Newsday reported Sunday that he and agent Tom Reich turned down a five-year Sox offer totaling $70 million and that Ordonez may be heading to the Mets this winter.
"I just read the paper and that's a lie," Ordonez said. "I don't know who said that and why they said I want to go to the Mets. We're still talking." Sox general manager Ken Williams said last week the thought of trading Ordonez at some point this season hasn't crossed his mind.
But that's down the line. In the immediate future, the Sox need Ordonez back on the field.
"I don't want to take a risk by putting him in the game," manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Ordonez took batting practice Tuesday, but said it hurts when he runs.
A magnetic resonance imaging test has come up negative, revealing no tear in the muscle.
"[The injury] is more distracting than anything else," Ordonez said.
A's 6, WHITE SOX 4
Kielty blast adds to misery
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