How it happened: Billy Butler's three-run home run in the ninth inning, off the glove of right fielder Avisail Garcia, gave the A's the victory. White Sox closer David Robertson now has seven blown saves on the season (36 attempts). White Sox starter Jose Quintana was solid, giving up one run on four hits over seven innings, but he was left with his major-league-leading 50th no-decision since the start of 2012. A’s starter Sean Nolin gave up two runs on five hits over five innings. Mike Olt hit a home run for the White Sox.
What it means: White Sox reliever Matt Albers has been getting the job done with a career-best streak of 16 consecutive scoreless outings. His latest was a perfect eighth inning Thursday. Robertson, however, has been a roller-coaster ride. His streak of 26 consecutive batters retired ended earlier this month and his streak of eight consecutive scoreless outings came to a close this week. The A's were all over Robertson in this series, scoring four runs (two earned) off him Monday in addition to the three Thursday.
Outside the box: The steady Quintana kept chugging along in his 30th start of the season. He is the first White Sox pitcher to have 30 starts in three consecutive seasons since Mark Buehrle did it in 11 consecutive from 2001-11. The beauty of Quintana is that he might be as strong now as he has been at any point of the season. In 20 innings this month, Quintana has given up just two earned runs, good for a September ERA of 0.90.
Off beat: Olt has not only delivered home runs in back-to-back games for the White Sox, he produced some mammoth blasts. On Wednesday, the ESPN Home Run Tracker put Olt’s bomb to center field at 448 feet. His shot Thursday, which reached the back row of the seats in left field, was calculated at 444 feet. His home run Wednesday made him the only player to hit a home run for both the Cubs and White Sox in the same season.
Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Chris Sale (12-9, 3.55 ERA) to the mound Friday at Cleveland in the opener of a three-game series. The Indians will counter with right-hander Cody Anderson (4-3, 3.68) in the 6:10 p.m. CT start from Progressive Field.