Mike Fiers sparkles as A's shut down White Sox 7-0
CHICAGO — Mike Fiers stayed hot by shaking off a little cold.
Fiers tossed seven sparkling innings to extend his career-best win streak to nine consecutive decisions, helping the Oakland Athletics blank the Chicago White Sox 7-0 on Friday.
Fiers (11-3) allowed three hits, struck out a season-high eight and walked none. The 34-year-old right-hander also hit two batters, but improved to 9-0 with a 2.12 ERA in 17 starts dating to his no-hitter on May 7 against Cincinnati.
He said he didn’t feel well when he took the mound, but got better after a couple innings.
“We made it tough on those pitchers and made it tough on the hitters,” he said. “I’m just trying to stay within myself and make pitches and use my defense.”
Tim Anderson singled twice and Leury Garcia singled in the sixth for Chicago’s only hits off Fiers, who lowered his ERA for the 19th straight game to 3.30. It was 8.28 after a loss to Toronto on April 20.
“It’s hard to think back and try to remember a run like this really for anybody,” manager Bob Melvin said. “Today was one of his better games, actually.”
Chad Pinder lined a two-run homer in the A’s eighth win in their last 11 games. Matt Chapman and Stephen Piscotty also went deep.
Dustin Garneau hit a two-run double in Oakland’s five-run eighth, helping the A’s pull away. Jake Diekman and Joakim Soria each pitched a scoreless inning to complete the four-hitter.
Chapman’s 25th homer, a shot to left in the first, stopped an 0-for-16 skid. The previous hit for the All-Star third baseman was a tie-breaking two-run homer off Milwaukee closer Josh Hader on Aug. 1.
Chapman shaved his head before Friday’s game — partly for a change of fortune at the plate. After going 2 for 5 Friday, he has just four hits in his last 52 at-bats.
“Change the look and also my hair was getting annoying,” Chapman said. “It was pretty curly and outrageous, and I was hoping there was hits in it.”
Ross Detwiler (1-3) allowed two runs — on the homers for Chapman and Piscotty — and four hits in 5⅓ innings.
The left-hander hasn’t won in eight outings since his White Sox debut on June 28.
“A couple of pitches got away from me against a really good team and they put them both on the board,” Detwiler said.
Fighting for an AL wild card, the Athletics traveled across town to Chicago’s South Side after dropping two of three in a series against the NL Central-leading Cubs. They arrived in Chicago last Sunday and are spending seven straight nights in the same hotel.
Fiers joked that settling in at a downtown Chicago luxury hotel may have contributed to his symptoms.
“The Ritz is too nice for me,” he said. “I’m not used to staying there. A different kind of air.”
The win was Melvin’s 700th as the manager of the A’s since taking charge in 2011.
“It feel like it’s been a short period of time and it feels like it’s been forever,” he said.