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CWS@OAK: Ka'aihue's RBI single ends it in the 14th

OAKLAND -- Kila Ka'aihue insists "all wins are big wins."

Sure, but Wednesday's 5-4 victory fueled by Ka'aihue's walk-off RBI bloop single in the 14th inning, likely puts it in the "bigger" category.

"How do I describe it?" said Ka'aihue. "We scored one more run than they did. That's what happened."

Ka'aihue's big hit followed a two-run homer off the bat of Yoenis Cespedes that wiped away a 4-2 Chicago lead, making a winner out of Jim Miller, freshly promoted from the Minors just hours earlier and inserted into the game with two outs in the 13th.

"It's a game of perseverance," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You truly have to know you have outs left. We were down, then up, then a stalemate for a long time, and then all of a sudden they get two and we get three. Using every out we had, definitely."

The A's (10-10) found the .500 mark again and picked up the series victory, along with a dose of momentum as they prepare for their upcoming nine-game road swing through the East Coast.

The offense has had its fair share of struggles since emerging from the gates nearly a month ago, a notion confirmed by the .204 average with which A's hitters brought into Wednesday's series finale.

That number barely budged through the first dozen innings in the matinee, with none coming in innings seven through 11 following the departure of Jarrod Parker, who made his A's debut on Wednesday and gave up just one run on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

"I thought he was terrific, I really did," Melvin said. "That's a pretty good lineup, especially middle of the order. Great start for him. We feel really good about him."

Chicago's first run, courtesy of Kosuke Fukudome's RBI triple in the seventh, was nearly too little and too late for the White Sox, who watched the A's post two in the sixth against Chris Sale.

Jemile Weeks led off the frame with a walk and, one out later, Josh Reddick -- sporting the high-sock look in the wake of a 3-for-23 stretch -- notched an RBI double. Cespedes followed with a run-scoring base hit.

The White Sox's near-comeback in the seventh was halted following Parker's exit with Fukudome manning third and one out, as Chicago failed to make good on a suicide squeeze attempt and reliever Ryan Cook struck out Brent Morel to end the frame.

Cook garnered a scoreless eighth, before close Grant Balfour's first-pitch fastball to Konerko landed in the left-field seats, marking the designated hitter's 400th career home run. Brian Fuentes and Jordan Norberto combined for three shutout frames, leading to Jerry Blevins' entry and an eventful scene of events.

The A's lefty, coming on in the 13th, offered up a leadoff double to Adam Dunn, who was replaced by pinch-runner Brent Lillibridge. After an intentional walk to Konerko, also swapped for a pinch-runner in Gordon Beckham, Lillibridge was nailed on a pickoff started by catcher Kurt Suzuki. Two batters later, Alex Rios grounded a double down the left-field line and, with Beckham coming around to score the go-ahead run, was thrown out at the plate courtesy of a tremendous relay effort from Cliff Pennington and Eric Sogard.

"You talk about defensive plays having as much magnitude as offensive plays, and certainly that was the biggest play of the game to that point," Melvin said.

Blevins' luck ran out in the 14th, though, as pinch-hitter Dayan Viciedo reached on an error by Sogard, advanced to second on Morel's sacrifice bunt and, one out later, was joined on the base paths by Alejandro De Aza, who walked to send Blevins to the showers. In came Miller, who quickly gave up Alexei Ramirez's two-bagger before the A's came up to bat in the bottom half of the frame.

And, as they say, the rest is history.

"All and all, we didn't play well enough to win that game," Konerko said. "I'm not sure if anybody did. It kind of worked out the way it worked out." Comments