Tough way to end game for Hairston, A's

Tough way to end game for Hairston, A's

CHICAGO -- Scott Hairston's thoughts on his 13th-inning adventure on the bases will have to be heard Friday in Minnesota.

He was called into the manager's office about 20 minutes after Wednesday's game in the Windy City, and he still was behind that closed door when most everyone else in the visitors' clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field was dressed and ready to leave town.

The thoughts of Hairston's manager, A's skipper Bob Geren, were made very clear before the meeting, which included bench coach Tye Waller.

Addressing a small media gathering in his office, Geren was asked which was worse: Hairston failing to run hard on a routine fly ball to center field that was dropped by Alex Rios, leaving him at first base with one out instead of in scoring position, or that Hairston, tying to make amends by stealing second, got deked by Chicago's middle infielders on a popup and slid into second before being doubled off first?

"Both," Geren huffed. "Tied."

Did you say something to Hairston?

"I said something by taking him out of the game," came the terse reply.

Eric Patterson replaced Hairston in left field in the bottom of the 13th, but he wasn't out there long. A.J. Pierzynski spoiled an outstanding night from the A's bullpen by drilling a walk-off double that gave the White Sox a 4-3 victory in the finale of a two-game set.

"We should have won the game," Geren said.

It wasn't all Hairston's fault, of course -- far from it.

Rookie right-hander Trevor Cahill had his shortest outing since April, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks while throwing 74 pitches over three innings.

"I felt good," said Cahill, who also made an error but was taken off the hook for his 13th loss when Kurt Suzuki slapped a game-tying RBI single with two outs in the eighth. "I was just all over the place -- with everything. I just couldn't find it."

Oakland seemed all over the place in general at times, particularly late.

Adam Kennedy, who made an error of his own, couldn't get a sacrifice bunt down after Cliff Pennington's leadoff single in the 12th.

Pennington then was thrown out by Pierzynski, Chicago's catcher, while trying to steal -- just as Mark Ellis had done an inning earlier (though replays appeared to show that Ellis was safe).

Pierzynski, Geren noted, is not the best man at stopping a running game, averaging about 13 percent as a success rate. But he was 2-for-2 when it counted, and he came up with the big blow at the plate.

White Sox starter Freddy Garcia wasn't much sharper than Cahill at the outset, giving up runs in the first and third. Rajai Davis doubled and stole third base in the first before scoring on a single by Hairston. Ryan Sweeney then drilled an RBI double to make it 3-2.

Oakland's parade of seven relievers was considerably more successful, throwing a game's worth of zeros until Alexei Ramirez set up Pierzynski's heroics with a one-out single off Edgar Gonzalez.

"Excellent, every one of them," Geren said of his relievers. "I can't speak highly enough of what they did."

As if for effect, and possibly as a primer for the impending sit-down with Hairston, he repeated his earlier claim.

"We should have won the game."

Mychael Urban is a national writer for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.