CHICAGO (AP) — Nick Martini picked a perfect time — and place — for his first major league hit.
Pinch hitting, Martini drove in the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning with full-count single up the middle and the Oakland Athletics came back from an early five-run deficit to edge the Chicago White Sox 7-6 on Saturday.
Martini, recalled from Triple-A before the game, battled through the eight-pitch at-bat and lined his hit off Juan Minaya (0-2) with two outs to center to score Stephen Piscotty from second. Piscotty reached on a double when right fielder Avisail Garcia lost his routine fly in the sun.
Martini is from Crystal Lake, Illinois, a Chicago suburb about 45 miles northwest of Guaranteed Rate Field. Although the 27-year-old outfielder says he followed the crosstown Cubs as a kid, coming through on the South Side suited him just fine.
“It’s hard to describe,” said Martini who played in front of a contingent of family members and friends. “To get it here in my backyard was definitely special and I was super excited.”
Martini was called up by the A’s for three games earlier this month, but the 27-year-old outfielder was hitless in nine at-bats.
Piscotty launched a two-run drive and Matt Olson hit a solo shot as the Athletics homered in their 24th consecutive road game, tying a modern day record set by Baltimore in 1996. Olson’s homer was his 17th and third in four games.
“Who knows why, but we’re definitely in a groove right now,” Piscotty said. “I felt like the way our offense has been, (coming back) wasn’t too daunting a task.”
Lou Trivino (5-1), the A’s fourth reliever, pitched 1 2/3 innings and struck out four. Blake Treinen got the last five outs for his 17th save as Oakland hung on for its sixth victory in seven games despite committing two errors in the ninth.
Tim Anderson hit his 13th homer, a three-run shot on his 25th birthday, that capped Chicago’s five-run first inning burst. The White Sox have lost nine of 10.
Both starters exited early with injuries.
Oakland’s Daniel Mengden was roughed up for the fourth straight outing, allowing five runs and five hits before a sprained right foot forced him to leave after two innings. The right-hander, who is 0-2 with an 11.57 ERA over 16 1/3 innings in June, said the foot has bothered him over his past few starts.
Although he appeared to be cruising with a 5-2 lead, White Sox starter Dylan Covey was pulled due to right hip soreness with no outs in the fifth when Oakland scored three times to tie it at 5. Manager Rick Renteria called the move precautionary and said the team would know more on Sunday.
Coved said his hip “felt funny” as he left the field after four innings.
“I could feel it in my (fifth inning) warmups,” Covey said “My drag leg was not really painful, but nagging me. I was bracing every pitch for something. It was affecting the quality of my pitches.”
Covey, who was charged with four runs, left after walking Matt Joyce to start the inning and reaching a 2-1 count on Jonathan Lucroy. Chris Volstad completed the walk to Lucroy, then gave up a single to Franklin Barreto, a sacrifice fly to Dustin Fowler and Jed Lowrie’s two-run double.
Piscotty’s homer in the second made it 5-2. After Oakland tied it, Olson’s homer leading off the sixth put the A’s ahead 6-5.
Yoan Moncada grounded into a force at second with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth to push in a run to tie it at 6.
Martini was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Saturday, and right-handed pitcher Chris Bassitt and left-hander Danny Coulombe were optioned.
Athletics: Manager Bob Melvin said LHP Ryan Buchter (strained left shoulder) will be activated on Monday at Detroit. . Melvin had no timetable or plan for Mengden, but said the right-hander’s current injury isn’t related to previous surgery.
White Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (right rotator cuff inflammation) is expected to throw three innings in a rehab start Sunday at Triple-A Charlotte. Gonzalez, who was 0-3 with a 12.41 in three starts in April, said he expects to make three or four starts on the rehab assignment. . Renteria said OF Nicky Delmonico (broken finger on right hand) is getting ready to start hitting off a tee.
Athletics RHP Paul Blackburn (1-1, 8.03) faces White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (0-2, 4.41) on Sunday in the series finale. Both Blackburn and Rodon will make their fourth starts since returning from the DL.
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