Andrus homers vs. former team, surging White Sox have 20 hits, rout Athletics

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Elvis Andrus connected for a three-run homer against the team that cut him last month and the Chicago White Sox got 20 hits, beating the Oakland Athletics 10-2 Saturday for their fourth straight win.

A.J. Pollack and Andrew Vaughn each had four hits, helping Lance Lynn (6-5) and the surging White Sox win for the ninth time in 11 games.

A’s starter Adrian Martinez (4-4) was tagged for 14 hits in just 3 2/3 innings. The Athletics lost their fifth in a row.

Andrus signed with Chicago after the A’s released him in mid-August and returned to haunt his former team. He is 6 for 15 with two home runs through the first three games of the series.

Andrus is 22 for 60 with five homers over his last 14 games.

Lynn allowed two unearned runs and three hits in six innings. The 35-year-old struck out five, walked one and improved to 4-0 with a 1.19 ERA and 46 strikeouts in his last five starts.

Martinez gave up seven runs. He fell to the ground after being struck in his left (non-pitching) shoulder by a line drive off Gavin Sheets‘ bat in the second, got the out to end the inning and stayed in the game.

Andrus’ three-run homer in the second highlighted a four-run inning. Vaughn’s two-out, two-run double capped a three-run fourth that made it 7-0.

RACE TO THE BOTTOM

The A’s (50-90) hit the 90-loss plateau for the ninth time in Oakland history with their ninth in 10 games. They’ll need to win 13 of their last 22 to avoid the team’s second 100-loss season in Oakland.

FAMILIAR FACES

Andrus is among five White Sox players who returned to their old stomping grounds for this series. Pitchers Jake Diekman, Kendall Graveman and Liam Hendricks also previously played for the Athletics. White Sox manager Tony La Russa managed the A’s from 1986 to 1995.

STREAK SNAPPED

A’s 2B Tony Kemp was 0 for 3, snapping a career-best 11-game hitting streak.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Both starting pitchers appeared to suffer injuries early on, but both stayed in the game. Lynn seemed to hurt his leg in the first inning sprinting to cover first on Vimael Machin‘s grounder. Martinez was hit the next inning.

UP NEXT

White Sox RHP Johnny Cueto (7-7, 2.87 ERA) is 2-0 with a 2.06 ERA in in five career starts against Oakland. A’s LHP Cole Irvin (7-11, 3.78 ERA) is 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA over his last five starts after going 5-3 with a 1.88 ERA in his previous seven.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.