CHICAGO -- Melky Cabrera's two-strike single off reliever Arnold Leon with two outs in the 14th inning scored Geovany Soto just ahead of the throw from Josh Reddick and gave the White Sox an 8-7 victory over Oakland Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
Soto opened the 14th with a broken-bat single to center and was sacrificed to second by Adam Eaton, before the A's intentionally walked Jose Abreu after Alexei Ramirez struck out.
"We had some chances. We definitely had chances," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "They did, too. Both sides had enough chances, and eventually you know one of them is going to fall in. I wanted it to be us rather than them, absolutely."
Oakland tied the game with four in the ninth off closer David Robertson in highly improbable fashion. The rally featured just two hits, including a two-run Sam Fuld single, but also included a catcher's interference call against Tyler Flowers on Reddick's grounder that might have been a game-ending double play, a wild pitch on Danny Valencia's strikeout, a walk to Coco Crisp to force home a run and Flowers' passed ball that allowed the tying run to score with two outs.
"That was a very hard-fought game," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "To be able to score what we did off Robertson in the ninth inning and then for the bullpen to do the job they did after an outing Sonny [Gray] has very seldom was great."
Gray matched a career high in runs allowed and set a career high with seven earned runs, while giving up eight hits and four walks over three-plus innings. Abreu and Trayce Thompson both went deep against the right-hander in the third, and Gray walked in a run and gave up a two-run single to Abreu in the fourth.
John Danks got touched up for three solo homers -- off the bats of Jake Smolinski, Brett Lawrie and Reddick -- but those were the only three hits allowed by the White Sox southpaw over seven innings. Danks struck out six and walked three, as he tossed his fifth quality start over his last six trips to the mound at home. He has a 1.63 ERA over that time.
"I feel good. Wasn't quite as sharp as I would've liked to be early, especially," Danks said. "Breaking ball took a little while to get going, but I was able to make pitches, for the most part. Pretty lively ballpark, so three homers hurts, but it's part of it. I'm feeling good about how it went."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Closing in on a milestone: Abreu's two-run shot in the third was his 28th homer of the season, and his four RBIs leave him at 90 with 20 games to be played. Abreu is trying to join Albert Pujols as the only players in baseball history to put up 30-plus homers and 100-plus RBIs in each of his first two seasons.
Relieved: Before Leon surrendered the game-winning hit, the A's bullpen had strung together 10 consecutive scoreless innings in relief of Gray, who called their work "something special." Oakland relievers entered the game with a 4.55 ERA, including a 5.89 mark in their previous 25 games. Fernando Rodriguez, Dan Otero, Drew Pomeranz and Fernando Abad all gave the club two innings of work in the effort.
"We had some guys have to go two innings that are one-inning guys," Melvin said, "so it was great all the way around."
The big inning(s): After Gray needed just six pitches to get through a perfect first, the White Sox produced consistent solid contact over the next two-plus innings. They scored four in the third and three in the fourth before Rodriguez replaced Gray with two on and nobody out.
"We were just trying to be aggressive," Thompson said. "He's one of the best in the league for a reason and you've got to get him early because he can put guys away pretty good. We're just trying to be aggressive and he left some pitches up -- especially to some guys early in the count -- and we just took advantage of it."
END OF THE RUN
Lawrie's leadoff double to right in the ninth ended a stretch of 26 straight batters retired by Robertson. Thompson almost came up with the ball with a diving attempt, but hyperextended his left elbow in the process. X-rays were negative, and he is day to day.
"That ninth inning was crazy. I don't know how to explain it or what happened there. But we won and that's good for us." -- Cabrera, on the victory
"That one was weird. I still remember one in Anaheim, I think we lost a game similar to that where we didn't even give up a hit. So at least there were a couple of hits in there." -- Ventura, on the ninth inning meltdown and eventual victory
WHAT'S NEXT A's: Right-hander Aaron Brooks, who has allowed at least five earned runs in each of his last two outings, looks to turn things around in a 5:10 p.m. PT start Tuesday against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. It will mark Brooks' first career start against Chicago.
White Sox:Jeff Samardzija takes the mound for the White Sox against one of the two teams he played for during the 2014 season. Samardzija is 1-5 with a 6.03 ERA over his last six starts. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. CT.