CHICAGO -- Jeff Samardzija's dismal second half somehow dropped another notch during a 17-6 Oakland victory over the White Sox on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. The victory was Oakland's first in five games against the South Siders this season.
Samardzija worked three innings and four batters into the fourth against the team that traded him to the White Sox during the offseason, giving up a career-high 10 runs on 11 hits. He walked three and struck out three. Since an Aug. 2 start against the Yankees, Samardzija has given up 51 earned runs on 71 hits in 49 2/3 innings and has a 1-8 record.
"It's been tough, especially it's tough to do when you've got your position players out there pitching on the day you start," Samardzija said. "It doesn't feel good and it's not what you want. Like we've said before, you look forward and you keep going and get back on the film and figure out what you need to do to get better."
Every Oakland starter had at least one hit, except for Max Muncy, who walked and scored a run. The A's scored five in the first and 10 in the fourth, with Marcus Semien and Josh Reddick both going deep on the night. Reddick drove in four in the fourth-inning outburst.
"The at-bats were great all the way around," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "That's a pretty tough pitcher we're facing. He's a quality pitcher, and I know he's having some struggles, but no one looks forward to facing him. To get him out of the game early on and to keep adding on was big for us."
Things got so bad for the White Sox that position players Leury Garcia and Alexei Ramirez were called on to each pitch an inning. It was Ramirez's debut on the mound and the second mound appearance for Garcia, with both throwing scoreless frames. It was the first time the White Sox used two position players in the same game since Frank Isbell and Sam Mertes threw on Sept. 28, 1902, according to Elias Sports.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Jumping the Shark: After playing 23 innings over more than nine hours in their previous two games, the A's showed no signs of fatigue, jumping all over Samardzija before his departure with no outs in the fourth inning -- which included Reddick's second homer in as many days, a two-run shot in the 10-run frame. The A's 17 runs were their most in a game since they plated 18 at Minnesota on Sept. 11, 2013.
"With how long this year's been for us, I feel like we've been on the other end of a lot of those," said Josh Phegley, who went 2-for-4. "But that seems to be our offense. We can't seem to get something going for a couple games, then we explode for double digits. It's definitely nice to have a win. Guys were swinging the bats real well, and we were having a lot of fun out there."
"I'm just deep in counts all the time. It's 2-0 and 2-1, things like that," said Samardzija of his struggles. "I know when I'm at my best I'm always 0-2, 1-2, pounding the zone, and if I'm not there, it's because there's an early action in play. You have more confidence early in the count and forcing the action, getting ahead in the count. That's where I want to be in the at-bat."
Well, the bats still work: Aaron Brooks didn't exactly mystify the White Sox during his six-plus innings. They knocked out 10 hits against him, with Ramirez and Melky Cabrera going deep. The White Sox have six players with double-digit homers, as Ramirez and Cabrera reached 10.
Albers stays scoreless: The seventh inning by White Sox reliever Matt Albers on Tuesday marked his career-high 15th straight scoreless appearance. He also has covered 18 2/3 innings during that run.
FIRST THINGS WORST
With the five runs scored by Oakland in the opening frame, Samardzija took over the Major League lead with 31 runs allowed in that frame and 29 earned runs. White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana ranks second in both categories. Samardzija also is 0-7 with a 10.01 ERA over his last seven home starts, and he has allowed a home run in seven consecutive starts.
"I love to do what I do. I'll go to my deathbed pitching and being around baseball and sports. I wake up every day looking to compete and have fun and go out there and dominate. That's what I'm here to do and every fifth day I'm going come up and get ready to pitch, no matter what. I don't feel sorry for myself, I don't hang my head. I'm a competitor and I always will be." -- Samardzija, on dealing with this brutal second half.
"Not playing good baseball. There's no reason to do it. I couldn't tell you what was going on in his mind." -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura, on Adam Eaton getting thrown out in the ninth inning while trying to stretch a single into a double
WHAT'S NEXT A's: The A's, who revealed Tuesday they'll be without Jesse Chavez (fractured rib) for the remainder of the season, will start right-hander Cody Martin in his place Wednesday against the White Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. PT at U.S. Cellular Field.
White Sox:Erik Johnson makes his third start for the White Sox during Wednesday night's contest against the A's, with a 7:10 p.m. CT scheduled first pitch. The right-hander has a 2-1 record with a 3.49 ERA over six career starts at home.