Saturday's A's loss to the White Sox can be summed up in two words: missed opportunities.
The A's went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 13 men on base, including the bases loaded twice, as Chicago held on for a 3-2 win to even the series at a game apiece.
"We had our opportunities," A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters in Chicago. "We put ourselves in position right there to win the game. Just (needed) one more hit."
Oakland's first bases loaded opportunity came in the seventh inning, with the White Sox leading 2-0. Chad Pinder came up to pinch-hit for Robbie Grossman and sent a line drive to deep right-center field. Unfortunately for Pinder, White Sox outfielder Jon Jay chased it down and made a terrific sliding catch to prevent three runs from scoring.
"When I hit it and saw where they were positioned, I thought there was a chance that it might drop," Pinder told reporters. "But he made a great catch. That's not easy to do as an outfielder, especially behind the back and to come down with it with the slide. You've just got to tip your cap to him. It's a great play in a big spot."
The A's finally broke through with two runs in the ninth inning to pull within 3-2, and then loaded the bases once again. This time, Khris Davis struck out swinging to end the game.
"We battled back in the ninth, so it shows we're never out of it," said A's starter Tanner Roark, who took the loss, despite allowing just two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. "It's good to see guys keep fighting, keep battling."
Oakland outfielder Mark Canha echoed that sentiment.
"I think it shows the character of our team," Canha told reporters. "We always seem to do that, fight back in the ninth. That game had the feeling of a lot of games where we've come back and won. I think we all, in the dugout, were feeling like we were going to win that game right there. It doesn't always work out that way, but I think that's the sign of a good team."
Canha was a bit shaken up in the eighth inning when he made a diving attempt on a double by Leury García. Canha stayed in the game, but criticized the warning track surface afterwards.
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"That was the hardest surface I've ever dove on," he told reporters. "Three lesions on my body. It feels like I got in a motorcycle accident and slid on the pavement. They need to fix that, in my opinion. It needs to be a little softer. It's a little too hard on that warning track. But we learned the hard way, don't dive on the warning track in Chicago."
The A's will try to take the series on Sunday when Chris Bassitt takes the hill against White Sox ace Lucas Giolito. Oakland has only lost two of its last 14 series.