After hitting 17 home runs in 71 Triple-A games this season, Lenyn Sosa has shown off his stroke lately for the Chicago White Sox.
Sosa homered in the second inning Saturday in Chicago's 6-2 win. On Friday, he connected for a two-run shot in the second as Chicago attempted to chip away at an early deficit vs. the A's.
"There's some power in there," White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. "All he's got to do is just play the game right, be smart, and he's got a good baseball IQ. So he knows how to do this."
Sosa figures to see a greater workload in the final month of the season with Chicago out of postseason contention. Veteran Elvis Andrus remains an option in the middle infield, but recent lineups suggest Sosa and shortstop Tim Anderson will comprise the club's keystone combination for much of the final stretch.
Anderson also has provided a stabilizing force to the attack, collecting three multi-hit games in the four games he has played in since returning from a five-game suspension for his role in an Aug. 5 fight in Cleveland.
Chicago's Mike Clevinger (5-6, 3.47 ERA) will oppose Paul Blackburn (3-3, 4.00) on Sunday in a matchup of right-handers.
Clevinger has lost two of his four August starts but has pitched to a 3.13 ERA over 23 innings. He is coming off Tuesday's home loss to the Seattle Mariners, when he allowed four runs and six hits in five innings with four walks and four strikeouts.
In three career appearances against Oakland, including two starts, Clevinger is 1-1 with a 5.93 ERA.
Blackburn has had similar struggles with the White Sox. He is 0-3 with a 6.20 ERA in four starts against Chicago, including a July 2 home loss in which he yielded five runs and six hits in five innings with four walks and five strikeouts.
Blackburn took a no-decision Monday against Kansas City, when he allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. He has pitched to a 2.19 ERA in four August starts but has only a 1-1 record to show for it.
After scoring 20 runs in winning the first two games of the series against Chicago, Oakland was limited to four hits on Saturday. The A's were trailing 6-0 before they scored a pair of eighth-inning runs.
Oakland will aim to regroup behind a young group of regulars, including catcher Shea Langeliers. The A's are 5-5 in their past 10 games.
"They've continued to work hard the whole year, and now that we have a bigger core of the young guys, you see them, like, kind of feeding off each other, pushing each other, you know," A's hitting coach Tommy Everidge said. "Challenging each other.
"They came up together and they're performing, you know. And you see that confidence growing. And it's just contagious in the dugout. It's a different energy right now."
—Field Level Media