OAKLAND -- Athletics right-hander Tyson Ross, UC-Berkeley educated, must feel like he's still in school at times. That is, he's still learning his craft.
"He's learning how to pitch," Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki said after watching Ross throw an impressive game in a 6-2 victory over the White Sox on Saturday. "We all knew he had great stuff and now he's not trying to go too fast. He's slowing himself down. Quality location, making quality pitches and good things happen."
Ross wished he could have made the A's rotation some other way. It took an injury to Dallas Braden to get him here. Still, the 24-year-old right-hander is making the most of the opportunity.
Ross pitched a career-high 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He also struck out a career-best eight, and the A's bounced back from Friday night's loss to improve to 11-4 in day games.
"I felt pretty strong the entire way," Ross said. "I was taking my time and trying not to overthrow. I'm learning it's not how hard you throw, it's about executing a pitch. I had a great feel for my slider today and that helped everything."Ross (3-2) was thrust into the rotation on April 22. He's 2-1 as a starter and helped the A's (20-19) climb back above .500.
"He did a nice job of throwing the sinker down in the strike zone," A's manager Bob Geren said. "He's been pitching well game after game."
The A's gave Ross an early lead, which helped settle him down. Cliff Pennington's infield single allowed Kevin Kouzmanoff to score from second and Daric Barton's sacrifice fly drove in another run to make it 2-0 in the second.
Ross found a groove early, retiring nine of the first 10 White Sox batters he faced. He ran into a bit of trouble in the fourth, walking leadoff hitter Alexei Ramirez and giving up a double to Adam Dunn.
Paul Konerko lined out to Barton at first and alertly snapped the ball to third to turn the 3-5 double play. Ross then struck out the dangerous Carlos Quentin to end the threat.
"He's really good," Dunn said of Ross. "I didn't realize how good of stuff he had until I actually stepped in the box. He had kind of one of those sliders that you don't really see every day. He changes speeds on it so good. He's just got a live arm. He's a good one."
Ross said Barton's double play helped him relax.
Konerko came back to hit a two-run home run against Ross in the sixth, the only runs Chicago (16-24) produced. It also snapped Ross' streak of 34 1/3 innings without giving up a home run this season.
David DeJesus also had a big day. He recorded his 1,000th career hit, a triple that drove in two runs, helping chase White Sox starter Gavin Floyd (4-3) from the game.
"It's crazy, you know. It's longevity," DeJesus said. "This game is tough. Getting up here is tough and staying up here is tougher, and it shows that I'm able to put my years in and put my time in and actually do the job to keep getting the chance to play every day. It's an awesome honor and I'm proud of it."
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.